The AAAS - Andrew M. Sessler Fund for Science, Education, and Human Rights honors Dr. Sessler’s important legacy by supporting a variety of activities aimed at bridging the scientific, engineering and human rights communities; engaging young and aspiring scientists and engineers in human rights; and increasing the capacity of human rights practitioners to integrate scientific methods and technologies in their work. Activities supported by the Fund include the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition’s Student Essay and Poster Competitions; efforts to promote the integration of human rights into STEM education; technical training of human rights practitioners in innovative applications of science and technology; collaborative partnerships between
scientists, engineers and human rights organizations; and policy engagement on issues
at the nexus of science and human rights.
Dr. Sessler, a AAAS fellow, was intensely concerned about human rights at both an individual and global level. His legacy includes initiating the American Physical Society's (APS) Committee on International Freedom of Scientists and raising funds to endow the APS Sakharov Prize for Human Rights. His many honors included the Enrico Fermi Award, presented by the President of the United States in 2014; the APS Robert R. Wilson Prize in 1997; the APS Dwight Nicholson Medal in 1995; and the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award in 1970, which is the U.S Department of Energy’s highest scientific recognition. Dr. Sessler passed away on April 17, 2014 at the age of 85, following a long illness. The Fund was established by a generous gift from Dr. Sessler’s children, recognizing both his remarkable career as a physicist and his leadership in bringing the voice of scientists to global concerns of human rights and intellectual freedom.