NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society

NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society

About the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society

Established by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society is awarded biennially for contributions to chemistry, either in fundamental science or its application, that clearly satisfy a societal need. The award is given in alternate years to chemists working in industry and to those in academia, government, and nonprofit organizations. The award is presented with a $20,000 prize.

Most Recent Recipient

Hye Kyung Timken, Chevron Technical Center, will receive the 2023 NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society.

Timken’s groundbreaking work on innovative catalysts has been instrumental in making oil refineries safer, and fossil fuels more environmentally friendly.

Read more about Timken's work» 
Watch Timken's acceptance speech»

Award History

Since 1991 the award has recognized the profound benefits of chemistry to society and how advances in chemistry have led to greater economic wealth and a better quality of life. Previous recipients of the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Five recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science, one recipient has received a Lasker Award, and one recipient has received a Nobel Prize in Medicine (Lauterbur 2003).


Hye Kyung Timken (2023)
For her contributions to the development of the ionic liquid-based ISOALKY technology that can be applied to hundreds of plants worldwide to reduce the industrial process hazard of fuel production.
Read more about Timken's work»
Watch Timken's acceptance speech»

Susan Solomon (2021)
For her influential and incisive application of atmospheric chemistry to understand our most critical environmental issues – ozone layer depletion and climate change – and for her effective communication of environmental science to leaders to facilitate policy changes.
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John C. Martin (2019)
For his contributions to the development of antiviral medications used to treat even the most refractory of the deadly diseases, including HIV/AIDS, HCV, HBV, CMV, and flu, impacting hundreds of millions of individuals around the world and for his tireless efforts to ensure all of humanity, rich and poor alike, benefit. 
Read more about Martin's work» 
Watch Martin's acceptance speech»

Leroy E. Hood (2017)
For his invention, commercialization and development of multiple chemical tools that address biological complexity, including the automated DNA sequencer that spearheaded the human genome project.
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Watch Hood's acceptance speech»

Bruce D. Roth (2015)
For his discovery, synthesis and commercial development of atorvastatin (Lipitor), the most successful cholesterol lowering medicine in history, which has extended the lifespan of millions of people worldwide.
Read more about Roth's work» 
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Edward C. Taylor (2013)
For his contributions to heterocyclic chemistry, in particular the discovery of the new-generation antifolate pemetrexed, approved for the treatment of mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer and under clinical investigation for treatment of a variety of other solid tumors. 
Watch Taylor's acceptance speech»

Paul J. Reider (2011)
For his contributions to the discovery and development of numerous approved drugs, including those for treating asthma and for treating AIDS.

John D. Roberts (2009)
For seminal contributions in physical organic chemistry, in particular the introduction of NMR spectroscopy to the chemistry community.

Arthur A. Patchett (2007)
For innovative contributions in discoveries of Mevacor, the first statin that lowers cholesterol levels, and of Vasotec and Prinivil for treating hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Marvin H. Caruthers (2005)
For his invention and development of chemical reagents and methods currently used for the automated synthesis of DNA oligonucleotides (i.e., the "gene machine").

Paul S. Anderson (2003)
For his scientific leadership in two drugs approved for the treatment of AIDS and for his widely cited basic research related to the glutamate receptor.

Paul C. Lauterbur (2001)
For his research on nuclear magnetic resonance and its applications in chemistry and medicine, and his contributions to the development of magnetic resonance imaging in medicine.

C. Grant Willson (1999)
For his fundamental contribution to the chemistry of materials that produce micropatterns in semiconductors, and for its widespread application in the microelectronics industry for the benefit of society.

Ernest L. Eliel (1997)
For his seminal and far-reaching contributions in organic stereochemistry and for his wise and energetic leadership in professional societies that represent the interests of chemists and of society, both in the United States and abroad.

P. Roy Vagelos (1995)
For his fundamental contributions to the understanding of fatty acid biosynthesis, cholesterol metabolism, and phospholipid metabolism, and for his leadership at Merck that led to the discovery of a number of important therapeutic and preventive agents.

Harold S. Johnston (1993)
For his pioneering efforts to point out that man-made emissions could affect the chemistry of the stratosphere, in particular, the danger of the depletion by nitrogen oxide of the earth's critical and fragile ozone layer.

Vladimir Haensel (1991)
For his outstanding research in the catalytic reforming of hydrocarbons, that has greatly enhanced the economic value of our petroleum natural resources.


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