The Connecticut Medal of Science is Connecticut’s highest honor for scientific achievement in fields crucial to Connecticut's economic competitiveness and social-well-being. Nominations for the 2015 awards, to be announced in May, are due by Friday, March 13. The Medal recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of science in Connecticut. For this competition, science spans the physical and biological disciplines as well as mathematics, engineering and the social and behavioral sciences.
Modeled after the National Medal of Science, the award is bestowed in alternate years with the Connecticut Medal of Technology. (Science in odd-numbered years; Technology in even-numbered years.) The most recent Medal of Science recipient, in 2013, was Thomas A. Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Professor of Chemistry, at Yale University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
Unlike their federal counterparts, the state medals are designed to recognize individuals, not teams or entire corporations. The work the awards honor must also have a "clear association with Connecticut," meaning it must have been performed in the state, at least in its final stages, or in a company or institution closely affiliated with the state. Profiles of all Medal recipients are featured permanently in the Hall of Fame, located at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford.
Selection of the Medalist is conducted by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, using the following criteria:
- Total impact of the candidate’s work on the current state of physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or social and behavioral sciences. (primary criterion)
- Achievements of an unusually significant nature and their potential effects on the development of scientific thought.
- Distinguished service in the general advancement of science and engineering accompanied by substantial contributions to the content of science.
- Recognition by peers within the scientific community.
- Contributions to innovation and industry.
- Influence on education through publications, students, etc.
- A significant portion of the candidate’s work must have been performed in, or be associated with, an institution/organization/business located in Connecticut at least in its more mature and developed stage and during which time the candidate was a citizen of the U.S. or permanent resident who had applied for citizenship.
Nominations include a narrative statement by the individual making the nomination and three statements of support “from persons familiar with the technological aspects of the candidate's work.”
To date, Connecticut Medalists are:
Medal of Science
- Frederick M. Richards, Yale University
- Ronald R. Coifman, Yale University
- William C. Stwalley, University of Connecticut
- Michael P. Snyder, Yale University
- Robert R. Birge, University of Connecticut
- Steven L. Suib, University of Connecticut
- Thomas A. Steitz, Yale University
Medal of Technology
- Joseph Gerber, Gerber Scientific
- Charles H. Kaman, Kaman Corporation
- Anthony J. DeMaria, DEOS, LLC
- Gene Banucci, ATMI, Inc.
- Tso-Ping Ma, Yale University
- Jonathan M. Rothberg, Ion Forrent
- Yaakov Bar-Shalom, University of Connecticut
- Frederick J. Leonberger, EOvation Advisors
The 2015 Medal of Science will be presented at the May 19, 2015 Annual Dinner of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Additional information is available from Richard Strauss, Executive Director of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, at 860-571-7135.