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Walker Prize

Honoring Excellence

George Whitesides

The Walker Prize was established in 1864 by Dr. William Johnson Walker, one of the most eminent surgeons of his era and a generous benefactor of the Boston Society of Natural History, the Museum's founding organization. This special award was established to recognize work in the field of natural history.

In the 1960s, the Walker Prize guidelines were broadened to recognize "meritorious published scientific investigation and discovery" in any scientific field. The recipient must be a noted scientist, professor, or researcher who is a superb science communicator via the written word and is well known for superlative work in her / his field.

Photo: 2017 Walker Prize recipient, Dr. George Whitesides.

Prize Winners:

  • 2019

    Jack W. Szostak, PhD

    Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Alex Rich Distinguished Investigator in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital

  • 2018

    Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian

    Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition and Medicine, and Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University

  • 2017

    George Whitesides, PhD

    Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University

  • 2016

    Paula Johnson, MD, MPH

    President, Wellesley College

  • 2015

    Lisa Randall, PhD

    Harvard University, Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science

  • 2014

    James Hansen, PhD

    Columbia University Earth Institute, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions

  • 2013

    Michael T. Jones

    Chief Technology Advocate, Google

  • 2012

    Angela Belcher, PhD

    W.M. Keck Professor of Energy, Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 2011

    Robert S. Langer, PhD

    David H. Koch Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 2010

    John P. Holdren, PhD

    Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President of the United States; Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government; Professor of Environmental Science, Harvard University; Director, Woods Hole Research Center

  • 2008

    James J. McCarthy, PhD

    Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University Co-chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • 2007

    Steve Wozniak

    Cofounder, Apple Computer, Inc., Chief Technology Officer, Jazz Technologies, Inc

  • 2006

    David G. Nathan, MD

    Physician, Researcher, President Emeritus, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

  • 2004

    Bernard M. Gordon

    Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Analogic Corporation

  • 2003

    Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD

    Director of National Human Genome Research Institute

  • 2002

    Paul MacCready, PhD

    Aeronautical Engineer, Inventor

  • 2001

    Phillip A. Sharp, PhD

    MIT Institute Professor and Director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research

  • 2000

    M. Judah Folkman, MD

    Surgeon, Researcher, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

  • 1999

    Howard Gardner, PhD

    Psychologist, Neurologist, Director of Harvard University's Project Zero

  • 1998

    Susan Love, MD

    Surgeon, Advocate for Patients with Breast Cancer

  • 1997

    Paul C. Sereno, PhD

    Paleontologist, Professor of Organismal Biology at University of Chicago

  • 1996

    Mario Molina, PhD

    Nobel Prize Winner, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at MIT

  • 1995

    Robert Allen Weinberg, PhD

    Professor of Biochemistry at MIT, Whitehead Institute

  • 1994

    Dudley R. Herschbach, PhD

    Nobel Prize Winner, Baird Professor of Science at Harvard University

  • 1993

    Philip Morrison, PhD

    Institute Professor Emeritus of Physics at MIT

  • Phylis Morrison

    Teacher, Author

  • 1983

    Edward Mills Purcell, PhD

    Nobel Prize Winner, Gerhard Gade University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University

  • 1981

    Gordon R. Willey, PhD

    Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archeology and Ethnology at Harvard University

  • 1978

    Sherwood L. Washburn, PhD

    Professor, Department of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley

  • 1976

    Richard M. Eakin, PhD

    Department of Zoology at University of California, Berkeley

  • 1973

    Alfred C. Redfield, PhD

    Natural History Scholar

  • 1971

    Ernst Mayer, PhD

    Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University

  • 1970

    Irven DeVore, PhD

    Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University

  • 1969

    Robert K. Selander, PhD

    Ornithologist and Professor of Zoology at University of Texas

  • 1968

    Howard Ensign Evans, PhD

    Curator of Insects, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University

  • 1967

    Martin H. Moynihan, PhD

    Director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama Canal Zone