About the Award

The Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship is awarded to a scientist making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the Earth and whose lectures will provide solid, timely, and useful additions to the knowledge and literature in the field. The nominee should also be a good speaker with the ability to summarize and synthesize current knowledge in the field. The recipient is awarded a $50,000 prize and funds from the Arthur L. Day Bequest to present a series of Day Lectures.

Jerry X. Mitrovica, Harvard University, received the 2023 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship.

Mitrovica has advanced our understanding of the complex relationship between sea level and melting ice sheets and their impacts on human societies past and present.

Mitrovica’s research explores the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the Earth system through a combination of advanced theoretical work, numerical modeling, and data analysis.

He has developed models to better predict changes in sea level in response to glacial melting, with particular emphasis on critical events in ice age climate and on the sea-level fingerprints of modern polar ice sheet collapse. His work covers a range of topics including the connection of mantle convective flow to the geological record, the rotational stability of the Earth and other terrestrial planets, and ice age geodynamics.

2023 Arthur L. Day Prize, Mitrovica social

Mitrovica is not only a renowned lecturer and public speaker, but also serves as a mentor and inspiration for the next generation of critical thinkers.

Watch Mitrovica’s acceptance speech


Arthur L. Day Lectureship

Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, the 2020 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship recipient, presented the 2023 Day Prize Lecture “The NASA Psyche Mission: An Electric Journey to a Metal World” at the University of New Mexico on February 24 and South Carolina State University on April 13. Elkins-Tanton discussed her NASA mission to explore Psyche. Exploration of this asteroid marks an important first for humankind: We have sent people or robots to explore rocky bodies, like the Moon and Mars, and icy ones, like Europa and Enceladus, and gas-rich bodies like Jupiter, but never a body made mostly of metal.

Susan Solomon, the 2017 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship recipient, presented the 2018 Day Prize Lecture “A Brief History of Environmental Successes” at Bryn Mawr College. Solomon also explored how the lessons learned help us understand how to better manage today’s environmental problems, including climate change.

Richard B. Alley, the 2014 recipient of the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship, presented a series of five lectures on a variety of topics including climate change, energy, and the environment at locations throughout the United States.

Award History

The Arthur L. Day Prize was established by Arthur Louis Day, an American geophysicist and volcanologist who served as vice president of the National Academy of Sciences from 1933 to 1941. The prize was first awarded to geophysicist and experimental petrologist Hatten S. Yoder, Jr. for his work on mineral systems under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature.

Previous recipients of the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Three recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science. (Sean Solomon, 2012; Wallace Broecker, 1996; Susan Solomon, 1999).

Most Recent Recipient
Jerry X. Mitrovica, 2023 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship.
Jerry X. Mitrovica
Call for Nominations

Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including biophysics, astronomy, microbiology, medical sciences, and more.

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Award Types

Previous Award Recipients

Linda T. Elkins-Tanton
Susan Solomon
Richard B. Alley
R. Lawrence Edwards
Stanley R. Hart
Herbert E. Huppert