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Washburn Award

Honoring Excellence

Through its board of trustees and prizes and awards committee, the Museum of Science presents the Bradford Washburn Award to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution toward public understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in our lives. Past recipients include Jacques Cousteau, Jane Goodall, and Carl Sagan — part of a long list of distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to scientific and technological literacy. The Museum honors each awardee with an embossed golden medal, a reception, and a seated dinner.

In 1964 an anonymous donor who believed deeply in both the people and the mission of the Museum established the Washburn award, named for H. Bradford Washburn Jr., the explorer-cartographer who served as director of the Museum from 1939 - 1980. Through a restricted endowment fund, the donor intended to recognize in perpetuity the importance of making scientific understanding available to the broad populace. The Museum is grateful for the philanthropy that makes this award possible.

Washburn Award Recipients

2012


2011


2010


2009


2008

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson, PhD
  • Frederick P. Rose Director, Hayden Planetarium, American Museum of Natural History; television host, NOVA scienceNOW

2007

  • Bill Bryson
  • Author, A Short History of Nearly Everything

2006

  • David Suzuki, PhD
  • Scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster

2005

  • Dean Kamen
  • Inventor

2004

  • Brian Greene, PhD
  • Physicist

2003

  • Alan Alda
  • Television host, Scientific American Frontiers

2002

  • Greg MacGillivray
  • Large-format filmmaker

2001

  • Dava Sobel
  • Author

2000

  • Ira Flatow
  • Author, television and radio producer and host

1999

  • Nicholas Negroponte, PhD
  • Co-founder and director, MIT Media Lab

1998

  • Timothy Johnson, MD, MPH
  • ABC Medical Editor

1997

  • Daniel Goleman, PhD
  • Psychologist, author, science journalist

1996

  • Edward O. Wilson, PhD
  • Evolutionary biologist, entomologist

1995

  • Sylvia A. Earle, PhD
  • Sea explorer, conservationist

1994

  • Paula S. Apsell
  • Journalist, film producer

1993

  • David A. Macaulay
  • Writer, illustrator

1992

  • Sally Kristen Ride, PhD
  • First American woman in space

1991

  • C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD
  • Former surgeon general of the United States

1990

  • John Henry Hemming, CMG, DLitt
  • Director, Royal Geographical Society

1989

  • Bradford and Barbara Washburn 50th Anniversary
  • No award presented

1988

  • National Geographic Society

1987

  • Sheila Evans Widnal, ScD
  • Teacher, researcher, aerospace engineer

1986

  • Robert D. Ballard, PhD
  • Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

1985

  • Brigadier General Charles E. Yeager, USAF (Retired)
  • First to break the sound barrier

1984

  • Stephen Jay Gould, PhD
  • Harvard professor of geology and curator of invertebrate paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology

1983

  • Sir David Attenborough
  • Filmmaker

1982

  • Thor Heyerdahl, PhD
  • Student of prehistoric navigation

1981

  • Roger Tory Peterson, PhD
  • Artist, teacher, ornithologist

1980

  • Mary D. Leakey, PhD
  • Paleoanthropologist
  • Kenneth F. Weaver
  • Science Editor, National Geographic Magazine

1979

  • Isaac Asimov, PhD
  • Science author

1978

  • Carl Sagan, PhD
  • Author and professor of astronomy and space sciences, Cornell University

1977

  • Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
  • Science and science-fiction writer

1976

  • Loren C. Eiseley, PhD
  • Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

1975

  • Jean Mayer, PhD, ScD
  • Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health

1974

  • Jane Goodall, PhD
  • Wildlife researcher, primatologist
  • Baron Hugo Van Lawick
  • Nature photographer

1973

  • Rene Dubos, PhD
  • Professor of biology, Rockefeller University, New York

1972

  • Walter Sullivan
  • Science Editor, The New York Times

1970

  • Walter Cronkite
  • Senior CBS News correspondent

1969

  • Sir George Taylor, DSc
  • Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England

1968

  • George Wald, PhD
  • Professor of biology, Harvard University

1967

  • Donald Baxter MacMillan
  • Rear Admiral, USNR (Retired)

1966

  • Gerard Piel
  • Publisher, Scientific American

1965

  • Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau
  • Director, Institut Oceanographique et Musee, Monaco

1964

  • Melville Bell Grosvenor, PhD
  • President, National Geographic Society

 

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