The John P. McGovern Science and Society Award

Each year since 1984, the McGovern Awardmcgovern_award has recognized achievement by a scientist or engineer that transcends their career as a researcher.  Past recipients of this award represent a broad spectrum of individuals whose varied activities supported research, the communication of science and the impact of science on society.

The award carries an honorarium of $5,000, a commemorative medal and the opportunity to make remarks at the Society's Annual Meeting or other suitable event.



The deadline for submission of nomination materials is January 31.

Nominations for the John P. McGovern Award 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. How has the nominee been a highly visible and prominent spokesperson for the public understanding and appreciation of science.
    3. Has the nominee received any particular recognition for this role.
    4. Ability of the nominee to give an address at the Sigma Xi annual meeting that is dynamic, engaging, and readily understood by young people, the public, and scientists across the disciplines.
  • One to two additional letters of support of no more than one page each.

Submissions, including letters of recommendation, should be made by e-mail

John P. McGovern 1921-2007

Founder of the renowned McGovern Allergy Clinic in Houston, John P. McGovern served terms on the Board of Directors of Sigma Xi and on several of the Society’s national committees. He received his B.S. and M.D. degrees at Duke University and conducted his postgraduate training at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, McGuire Hospital in Richmond and Duke. A noted physician, researcher, scholar, teacher and lecturer, he was a prime organizer and later president of the prestigious American Osler Society, as well as the American Association of Certified Allergists. His many honors included the Distinguished Award of Merit and the Fellow Distinguished Award of the American College of Allergists, the international Gold Medal Award for outstanding and meritorious achievements in the field of pediatric allergy and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Duke University School of Medicine. He served as chairman of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine and as editor, associate editor or on the editorial boards of 18 medical journals and publications series. The Sigma Xi award that bears his name was endowed by the John P. McGovern Foundation.

Send e-mail for more information on these awards and prizes.

John P. McGovern Award Recipients

1993 J. Michael Bishop
1990 Colin Blakemore
1989 Doug Walgren
1988 Sir George Porter
1987 William D. Carey
1986 Robert McC. Adams, Mary Good and David Hamburg
1985 Gerald Holton
1984 Clifford Grobstein