Leo Szilard Lectureship Award

To recognize outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society in such areas as the environment, arms control, and science policy. The lecture format is intended to increase the visibility of those who have promoted the use of physics for the benefit of society. The award consists of $5,000, a certificate citing the contributions of the recipient, plus $2,000 travel expenses for lectures given by the recipient at an APS meeting and at two or more educational institutions or research laboratories in the year following the award. The lectures should be especially aimed at physicists early in their careers.

Establishment & Support

This annual award was established in 1974 by the Forum on Physics and Society as a memorial to Leo Szilard in recognition of his concern for the social consequences of science. The award was endowed in 1998 by donations from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and individuals. It was also expanded to a lectureship format to promote awareness of the application of physics to social problems and to increase the visibility of those engaged in such activities.

Rules & Eligibility

Any living physicist is eligible. Nominations will be considered for three review cycles provided the nominator re-certifies the nomination before the next deadline.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Monday, June 3, 2024

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 or preprints.

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please see the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines.

2024 Selection Committee Members: Stewart Prager (Chair), Tara Drozdenko, Robert L. Jaffe, Richard Meserve, and David Wright

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

2024 Recipient

Robert J. Budnitz
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (retired)

Past Recipients

2023: Laura Grego
2022: Michael E. Mann
2021: Steve Fetter
2020: France A. Cordova
2019: Zia Mian
2018: Edwin Stuart Lyman
2017: James Timbie
2016: Joel Primack
2015: Ashok Gadgil
2014: M.V. Ramana
          Ramamurti Rajaraman
2013: Geoffrey West
2012: Siegfried Hecker
2011: John F. Ahearne
2010: Frank von Hippel
2009: Raymond Jeanloz
2008: Anatoli Diyakov
          Pavel Podvig
2007: James E. Hansen
2006: Paul G. Richards
2005: Daniel Kleppner
          David E. Mosher
          David K. Barton
          David Moncton
          David Montague
          David R. Vaughan
          Frederick K. Lamb
          Harvey L. Lynch
          Maury Tigner
          Ming K. Lau
          Roger Falcone
          William Priedhorsky
2004: Marc Ross
2003: Robert Socolow
2002: Henry C. Kelly
2001: John Harte
2000: Jeremiah David Sullivan
1999: John Alexander Simpson
1998: David Baird Goldstein
          Howard Geller
1997: Thomas L. Neff
1996: David Hafemeister
1995: Evgany P. Velikhov
          Roald Z Sagdeev
1994: Herbert F. York
1993: Ray Kidder
          Roy Woodruff
1992: Kurt Gottfried
1991: John H. Gibbons
1990: Theodore A. Postol
1989: Anthony Nero
1988: Robert Williams
1987: Thomas B. Cochran
1986: Arthur Rosenfeld
1985: Carl Sagan
          James B. Pollack
          John W. Birks
          O. Brian Toon
          Paul J. Crutzen
          Richard P. Turco
          Thomas P. Ackerman
1984: Kosta Tsipis
1983: Andrei Sakharov
1982: W.K.H. Panofsky
1981: Hans Bethe
          Henry Kendall
1980: Sidney Drell
1979: Sherwood Rowland
1978: Matthew Meselson
1976: Richard Garwin
1975: Bernard Feld
1974: David R. Inglis