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The William Procter Prize for Scientific AchievementProcter Prize

Since 1950, the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement has been awarded annually to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to scientific research and has demonstrated an ability to communicate the significance of this research to scientists in other disciplines.

The prize consists of a bronze statue, commemorative certificate, and an award of $10,000. The Procter Prize recipient receives a $5,000 honorarium and designates a younger scientist, usually in the same field of research, to receive a $5,000 grant-in-aid of research. Presentation of the Procter Prize is traditionally a principal event at Sigma Xi's annual meeting or other suitable venue.

The deadline for submission of nomination materials is October 1 annually.

Nominations for the William Procter Prize should include:

  • A current curriculum vita that follows the Sigma Xi Criteria for
    Curricula Vitae
  • A letter of nomination that addresses the following:
    1. A brief (~25 word) introductory statement of the nominee's accomplishments that led to the nomination
    2. The impact of the nominee's work on the current state of physical, biological, mathematical, engineering or social and behavioral sciences - how it has resulted in new approaches, new ways of thinking, or led to especially promising areas of inquiry.
    3. Ways in which the scientific community has recognized these accomplishments.
    4. Influence on education through publications, teaching activities, outreach, mentoring, etc.
    5. Ability of the nominee to give an address at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting that is dynamic, engaging, and readily understood by scientists across the disciplines.
  • One or two additional letters of support of no more than one page each.
Nominations should be submitted to the Committee on Awards at the Society's administrative offices by October 1 annually. Submissions, including letters of recommendation, should be submitted by e-mail. The committee meets each November to select the recipient of the Prize one year in advance of presenting the award.

William Procter
William Procter (1872-1951), was the grandson and heir of one of the founders of the Procter and Gamble Company. After graduating from Phillips Exeter, Procter majored in chemistry at Yale, obtaining a Ph.D. in 1894 from the Sheffield Scientific School. He organized the investment firm of Procter and Borden in 1902, retiring from it in 1920, though he continued to serve on the board of directors of Procter and Gamble.

During his boyhood summers at Newton, Connecticut, he became interested in insects. At age forty-five he enrolled in the department of zoology at Columbia University where he was elected to Sigma Xi in 1939).

In 1928, he built a field laboratory on Mt. Desert Island, Maine and began publishing a series of surveys that gained him a reputation as a distinguished natural scientist.

In addition to his active support of Sigma Xi and its affiliated organization, the Research Society of America (RESA), Procter was connected with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (England), the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Entomological Society, the Royal Academy of Science of Canada and the London Ray Society.

Procter endowed the award that bears his name in 1950, the year before he died. Karl T. Compton, then Massachusetts Institute of Technology president and RESA chairman, was its first recipient. RESA merged with Sigma Xi in 1974.

William Procter Prize Recipients
2014 Jenny Glusker
2013 Rita Colwell
2012 Solomon W. Golomb
2011 Supriyo Datta
2010 Michael J. Spivey
2009 Deborah S. Jin
2008 Charles Elachi
2007 Stuart L. Pimm
2006 Susan L. Lindquist
2005 Bjarne Stroustrup
2004 Murray Gell-Mann
2003 Darleane Hoffman
2002 Benoit Mandelbrot
2001 Alexander Rich
2000 Francisco Ayala
1999 Lynn Margulis
1998 Carl Djerassi
1997 Philip Morrison
1997 Edward O. Wilson
1996 Jane Goodall
1995 Michael E. DeBakey
1994 Stephen Jay Gould
1993 Walter Stockmayer
1991 Leon Lederman
1990 Robert D. Ballard
1989 Janet Rowley
1988 Sir John Kendrew
1987 James Van Allen
1986 Thomas Eisner
1985 George C. Pimentel
1984 Victor F. Weisskopf
1983 Winona and John Vernberg
1982 Joshua Lederberg
1981 George W. Beadle
1980 Herbert A. Simon
1979 Saunders MacLane
1978 Russell W. Peterson
1977 William Nierenberg
1976 Morris Cohen
1975 Dixie Lee Ray
1974 Percy Lavon Julian
1973 William O. Baker
1972 Lewis M. Branscomb
1971 Jacob E. Goldman
1970 Lloyd M. Cooke
1969 Margaret Mead
1968 Athelstan Spilhaus
1967 Abel Wolman
1966 Elmer Engstrom
1965 William H. Pickering
1964 Hugh S. Taylor
1963 Edwin H. Land
1962 Joel H. Hildebrand
1961 Edward Ray Weidlein
1960 Alan Tower Waterman
1959 Charles Stark Draper
1958 Chauncey Guy Suits
1957 Crawford H. Greenwalt
1956 Lawrence R. Hafstad
1955 Robert R. Williams
1954 Vannevar Bush
1953 David Barnard Steinman
1952 Shields Warren
1951 Ernest O. Lawrence
1950 Karl Compton

Send for more information on these awards and prizes.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P.O. Box 13975
3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Phone: 800-243-6534 or 919-549-4691
Fax: 919-549-0090


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