Joseph A. Burton Forum Award

To recognize outstanding contributions to the public understanding or resolution of issues involving the interface of physics and society. The award consists of $3,000, a certificate citing the contributions of the recipient, and an allowance for travel to the meeting of the Society at which the award is presented. It will be awarded annually.

Establishment & Support

The Joseph A. Burton Forum Award is named in recognition of the many contributions of Joseph Burton to the society and to the APS as its Treasurer from 1970 - 1985. The award was endowed in 1997 through a donation from Mrs. LeRoy Apker. The award stems from the former Forum Award for Promoting Public Understanding of the relationship of Physics and Society, established by the Forum on Physics and Society in 1974.

Rules & Eligibility

The award is for outstanding contributions to the public understanding or resolution of issues involving the interface of physics and society. Examples include issues of: public education, arms control, energy policy, protection of the environment, international cooperation among scientists, physics education, and the achievement of equity. Candidate nominations remain active for a maximum of three years.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Friday, June 30, 2017

The nomination must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s).

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A biographical sketch.
  • A list of the most important publications.
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters.
  • Up to five reprints and preprints.

There may be additional requirements for particular prizes and awards. Please read the rules carefully.

The online nominations system will open toward the end of 2016. Watch for email and website announcements that the site is open to accept new nominations and update material for continuing nominations.

2017 Selection Committee Members: Micah Lowenthal, Chair; Arian Pregenzer, Vice Chair; Joel Primack; and Fred Bernthal

Nomination Guidelines


Serving a diverse and inclusive community of physicists worldwide is a primary goal for APS. Nominations of qualified women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and scientists from outside the United States are especially encouraged.