AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility

The Award

The AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility is presented annually by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to honor scientists and engineers whose exemplary actions have served to foster scientific freedom and responsibility. We hope that the presentation of this award will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers as they begin their careers.

The Award recognizes scientists and engineers who have:

  • acted to protect the public’s health, safety, or welfare; or
  • focused public attention on important potential impacts of science and technology on society by their responsible participation in public policy debates; or
  • established important new precedents in carrying out the social responsibilities or in defending the professional freedom of scientists and engineers.

This annual award was established in 1980 and consists of a prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration, and reimbursement for travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting. 

Nomination Procedures

  • Send us your name, address, and phone number; and the name(s) and address(es) of the nominee.
  • A summary of the action(s) that form the basis for the nomination (about 250 words).
  • A longer statement (no more than three pages) providing additional details of the action(s) for which the candidate is nominated.
  • The candidate’s vita (no more than three pages).
  • Any documentation (books, articles, or other materials) that illuminates the significance of the nominee’s achievement may also be submitted.

All materials become the property of AAAS.


Please submit all information to:

AAAS Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs
Attention: Deborah Runkle
1200 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202-326-6794
Fax: 202-289-4950


All materials must be received by 1 September.

Past Recipients

The 2016 award was given to Kurt Gottfried for his long and distinguished career as a ‘civic scientist,’ through his advocacy for arms control, human rights, and integrity in the use of science in public policy making.”.

List of past recipients.