Call for Nominations: Gustavus John Esselen Award

The Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS) is pleased to invite nominations of worthy candidates for the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest.  This award recognizes a chemist for outstanding achievement in scientific and technical work that contributes to the public well-being.  The award consists of a $5000 prize and a medal of recognition.  The presentation takes place at an award ceremony in April at Harvard University, followed by a formal address by the awardee.  The tentative date for this ceremony is April 14, 2022.

The award was established in 1987 to honor the memory of Gustavus John Esselen, a distinguished scientist, entrepreneur and member of the Northeastern Section.  The first awardees were F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario J. Molina, who subsequently received the Nobel Prize.  Since then, other Esselen Award recipients have also been Nobel awardees and many have been recipients of the most prestigious awards in their various fields.

Nominations should be submitted as a single pdf file including: 1) a letter signed by the primary sponsor with a description of the nominee’s work recognized as making a major contribution to the public welfare and as communicating positive values of the chemical profession, plus the names of two co-sponsors; 2) short supporting co-sponsor statements; 3) the nominee’s professional biography including a list of no more than ten of the nominee’s publications selected for their pertinence to the work nominated for recognition; and 4) copies of popular and technical press news or feature articles indicative of public benefit and interest.  Further information is available at

Please note: any field of chemistry or affiliation is appropriate for nomination. The primary consideration of the committee is that the scientific work has been an important contribution to the public well-being and that the work’s significant value to society has become apparent within the last five years or so.

For more information and past winners of the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest, please see this page and this brochure.

Nominations Are Due October 15, 2021 to Karen Allen at with cc to  Award recipients will be notified by January 31, 2021.

Inquiries may be directed to the above or to Dr. Karen Allen, Tel. (617) 358-4178 or Jeananne Piper Grady, Tel. (617) 620-8315. Address: 11 Thaxter St., Hingham, MA 02043.

Please contact the Awards Committee if you would like assistance in developing your nomination package.

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