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Gustavus John Esselen Award
The Esselen Award for Chemistry in the public interest is one of the most prestigious honors provided by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society. The award annually recognizes a chemist whose scientific and technical work has contributed to the public well-being, and has thereby communicated positive values of the chemical profession. The Awardee should be a living resident of the United States or Canada at the time of nomination, and the significance of this work should have become apparent within the five years preceding nomination.
The Award was established in 1987 to honor the memory of Gustavus John Esselen, a distinguished member of the Northeastern Section. A brief history of the Award as well as a biography of Esselen can be accessed from this web page.The first awardees were F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario J. Molina, who subsequently received the Nobel Prize. As can be seen by the list of past recipients, any field of chemistry is valid as long as the scientific work has clearly contributed to the public well-being and its value to society has become apparent within the last five years.
The award consists of a medal and a check for $5,000. Travel expenses incidental to the conferring of this award will be reimbursed. The award will usually be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the April meeting of the Northeastern Section. The Awardee will deliver an address on the subject of the work for which the honor is being conferred, or for work in progress which is also directed to chemistry in the public interest.

Click for more information about the Esselen Award
Click for a biography of Gustavus John Esselen
Prior Recipients of the Gustavus John Esselen Award
Click to see the article "In Memory of Gutavus John J. Esselen III" from the October 2007 issue of The Nucleus

2018 Esselen Award Winner
Jennifer A. Doudna, Ph.D.

In recognition of her contributions, Dr. Doudna will receive the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest on Friday, April 27, 2018, in a ceremony at Harvard University’s Mallinckrodt Chemistry Laboratories at 8 p.m.
Free and open to the public, Dr. Doudna’s award lecture, to follow the presentation, is entitled “Re-writing the Code of Life: The Impacts and Ethics of Genome Editing.”

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Who are we?
  Dr. Karen N. Allen, Chair
  Department of Chemistry
  Boston University
  Dr. David R. Walt
  Department of Pathology
  Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  Dr. John Macor
  Waltham, MA
  Dr. Prakash Rai
  Department of Chemical Engineering
  University of Massachusetts, Lowell
The members selected by the Presidents of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Chemical Society, respectively:
  Dr. Melanie S. Sanford
  Department of Chemistry
  University of Michigan
  Dr. Ilke Arslan
  Center for Nanoscale Materials
  Argonne National Laboratory
  Dr. Bibiana Campos Seijo
  Chemical & Engineering News
Secretary of the Esselen Award Committee:
  Jeananne Piper Grady, Secretary

All Award Recipients ...