Call for Nominations: AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award

PostedWednesday, June 28, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Carl-Gustav Anderson
Carl-Gustav Anderson


The award recognizes scientists or engineers or their associations whose exemplary actions have fostered scientific freedom and responsibility. Such achievements can include acting to protect the public's health, safety or welfare; focusing public attention on important potential impacts of science and technology on society by their responsible participation in public policy debates; or establishing important new precedents in carrying out the social responsibilities or in defending the professional freedom of scientists and engineers.

While some of the awardees have risked their freedom and even physical safety by their actions, others are honored for activities that demonstrate their devotion to the values most honored in the scientific community. Additionally, although some award winners are distinguished scientists or scholars, this is not a requirement for award selection.

This prestigious award has been given by the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 1980. The successful candidate receives a plaque, $5,000 and is honored at the AAAS Annual Meeting (February 2018, Austin, TX).

Nomination Procedures
Nominations should be sent via postal mail or email to Deborah Runkle,

Required documentation includes:
• Nominator's contact information (including email, address, and phone number)
• Nominee's name and title, institutional affiliation, and contact information
• 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 nominee's CV (no more than three pages)
• Optional: Any documentation (books, articles, or other materials) that illuminates the significance of the nominee’s achievement
• Optional: Letters of support

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

Nominations Due September 1

Nominate those whose exemplary actions have fostered scientific freedom and responsibility.


Learn More


Nomination materials must be received in English; all materials become the property of AAAS. The award is open to all regardless of nationality or citizenship. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is committed to equal opportunity for all persons, without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected categories. AAAS seeks as diverse a pool of award nominations as possible, including as well a wide range of disciplines, institutional types, and geographical locations.

Recent winners include:

Kurt Gottfried (2016)—Dr. Gottfried was recognized 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.

Jean Maria Arrigo (2015)—Dr. Arrigo was honored for her courage in speaking against the American Psychological Associations’ approval of its members’ participation in “enhanced interrogation techniques” and for standing up, in the face of personal attacks, for the ethical behavior of psychologists and the importance of rigorous international standards in US national security policy.

Omid Kokabee (2014)—the youngest recipient of the SFR Award, Mr. Kokabee was selected for demonstrating extraordinary courage in defending the freedom of scientists by his highly principled refusal to contribute to weapons research in his home country of Iran. For this stance, he was imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin penitentiary, and has since been released on parole.

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