John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science

John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science

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About the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science

The John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science is awarded every two years, to recognize noteworthy and distinguished accomplishments in any field of science within the National Academy of Science’s charter. The award is presented with a medal and a $25,000 prize. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company established the award to honor the memory of their Chief Engineer, Vice President, and general telecommunications innovator, John J. Carty

Most Recent Recipients

Ben Santer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of California, Los Angeles, will receive the 2024 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science.

Santer is widely recognized for his leading work linking modern climate change to human activities. 

Read more about Santer's work» 

Award History

In 1932 Carty became both the namesake of the award as well as the first recipient. Carty was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of telecommunications. In the absence of a high school degree, Carty was the epitome of the self-made man, teaching himself the technology behind telecommunications and slowly working his way through the industry.  From his self-taught background, Carty made several outstanding contributions to furthering technological advancement in the telephone and telegraph industry. Between 1883 and 1896, Carty received  24 patents for telecommunications, including the battery-powered switchboard. He played an instrumental role in establishing the first successful transmission of voice by radio telephone across the Atlantic, the opening of the transcontinental telephone line, and later, the first two-way conversation across the Atlantic.  Carty’s work facilitated the rapid progress and implementation of the telephone network across the United States and overseas. Previous recipients of the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Eight recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science, and 10 recipients have received a Nobel Prize in Physics (Bragg 1915; Townes 1964; Gell-Mann 1969; Taylor 1993), in Chemistry (Langmuir 1932; Bertozzi 2022), in Medicine (Watson 1962), in Economics (Ostrom 2009), and in Economic Sciences (Milgrom 2020; Wilson 2020).


Ben Santer (2024, climate)
For pioneering and sustained research and scientific leadership in rigorously attributing climate change to human cause via vigorous statistical analyses.
Read more about Santer's work» 

Barney S. Graham (2022, infectious diseases)
For his seminal contributions in elucidating optimal viral glycoprotein structures that elicit superior vaccine-induced protective immunity, hundreds of millions of vaccine recipients are protected from life threatening COVID19 infections across the globe. His innovations in vaccine design are portable, providing effective countermeasures against other high threat human viruses.
Read more about Graham's work» 
Watch Graham's acceptance speech»

Carolyn R. Bertozzi (2020, physical sciences)
For her invention of bioorthogonal chemistry—a broadly applicable class of processes for scalable production of novel biomaterials. Her innovative technologies have been extensively translated to commercial settings for therapeutic and diagnostics discovery. She also employs these tools for glycobiology studies and tuberculosis research.
Read more about Bertozzi's work» 
Watch Bertozzi's acceptance speech»

David M. Kreps, Paul R. Milgrom, and Robert B. Wilson (2018, economics)
For making fundamental advances to game theory by showing how incomplete information alters equilibrium outcomes. Their advances enhance our understanding the impact of reputation and the emergence of cooperation. The resulting insights enrich the analysis and application of auctions for allocating scarce resources.
Read more about their work
Watch their acceptance speech»

Michael Goddard and Theodorus Meuwissen (2016, agricultural sciences)
For the development of genomic selection - uniting quantitative genetic theory with genomics technology - revolutionizing the genetic improvement of livestock and crops. Their research also invigorated genomic prediction, which has far-ranging implications for fields from human medicine to conservation biology.
Read more about their work» 
Watch their acceptance speech»

Joseph L. DeRisi (2014, genome biology)
For pioneering efforts to develop new genomic technologies and using the technologies to make discoveries in virology that are of fundamental and practical importance. 
Watch DeRisi's acceptance speech»

Michael I. Posner (2012, cognitive science)
For outstanding contributions to the understanding of spatial attention and for pioneering investigations of the neural basis of cognition using non-invasive functional brain imaging methods.

Andre K. Geim (2010, physics)
for his experimental realization and investigation of graphene, the two-dimensional form of carbon.

Joseph Felsenstein (2009, evolution)
For revolutionizing population genetics, phylogenetic biology, and systematics by developing a sophisticated computational framework to deduce evolutionary relationships of genes and species from molecular data.

Thomas Eisner (2008, ecology)
For pathbreaking studies of the myriad ways that organisms utilize chemistry to mediate ecological interactions and providing a foundation for the field of chemical ecology.

Joseph R. Ecker (2007, plant science)
For contributions in the areas of ethylene signal transduction and Arabidopsis genomics that have paved the way for a revolution in modern agriculture.

Russell F. Doolittle (2006, computational science)
For contributing seminal insights and methods for using computers as an aid to characterizing protein function, in comparing amino acid sequences, and for phylogenetic reconstructions.

Robert J. Cava (2005, materials)
For his outstanding contributions in the synthesis and characterization of many new materials that display interesting and important superconducting, dielectric, magnetic, or thermal properties.

Elinor Ostrom (2004, social/political science)
For her exceptional contributions to the study of social institutions, research that has greatly advanced our understanding of resource management, and the governance of local public economies.

David A. Freedman (2003, statistics)
For his profound contributions to the theory and practice of statistics, including rigorous foundations for Bayesian influence and trenchant analysis of census adjustment.

Donald Lynden-Bell (2000, astronomy/astrophysics)
For his outstanding work in theoretical astrophysics, and especially for the originality of his contributions to our understanding of the collective dynamic effects within stellar systems.

Patrick V. Kirch (1997, anthropology)
For the unique breadth of his distinguished anthropological accomplishments, spanning many Pacific islands and joining their archeology with ethnobotany, ethnobiohistory, historical linguistics, and human biology.

Marina Ratner (1994, mathematics)
For her striking proof of the Raghunathan conjectures.

Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. (1991, physics)
For developing pulsar timing experiments with exquisite accuracy to make fundamental studies of gravitation, including gravitational radiation and high-order tests of general relativity.

Motoo Kimura (1987, evolutionary biology)
By demonstrating the role of stochastic processes in inducing and maintaining most allelic diveristy in nature, he has unified molecular biology with evolutionary theory, thereby strengthening both fields.

Robert H. Burris (1984, agricultural sciences)
For his penetrating studies of the biochemistry of nitrogen fixation have enriched the agricultural sciences by deed and example.

Shing-Tung Yau (1981, mathematics)

John N. Mather (1978, pure mathematics)

J. Tuzo Wilson (1975, earth science)

James D. Watson (1971, molecular biology)

Murray Gell-Mann (1968, theoretical physics)

Alfred H. Sturtevant (1965, biochemistry)

Maurice Ewing (1963, geophysics)

Charles H. Townes (1961, physics)

Vannevar Bush (1953)

Irving Langmuir (1950)

Ross G. Harrison (1947)

William F. Durand (1945)

Edwin G. Conklin (1943)

Sir William Bragg (1939)

Edmund B. Wilson (1936)

John J. Carty (1932)

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