AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

The Association’s oldest award, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, supported by The Fodor Family Trust, was established in 1923 with funds donated by Newcomb Cleveland of New York City and was originally called the AAAS Thousand Dollar Prize. It is now known as the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, and its value is US$25,000. In addition to the prize funds, the winner receives a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration, and reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting in order to accept the prize at the Awards Ceremony.


The prize is awarded to the author or authors of an outstanding paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of Science. Each annual contest starts with the first issue of June and ends with the last issue of the following May.

An eligible paper is one that includes original research data, theory, or synthesis; is a fundamental contribution to basic knowledge or is a technical achievement of far-reaching consequence; and is a first-time publication of the author’s own work. Reference to pertinent earlier work by the author may be included to give perspective.

Nomination Procedures

Throughout the year, readers of Science are invited to nominate papers appearing in the Research Articles or Reports sections. Nominations must be submitted in our online form by June 30.

Please note: self-nominations will not be accepted for the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize. Final selection is determined by a panel of distinguished scientists appointed by the editor-in-chief of Science.

2017 Recipient

The 2017 Newcomb Cleveland Prize was awarded to James M. Eagan, Jun Xu, Rocco Di Girolamo, Christopher M. Thurber, Christopher W. Macosko, Anne M. LaPointe, Frank S. Bates, Geoffrey W. Coates for their outstanding report "Combining polyethylene and polypropylene: Enhanced performance with PE/iPP multiblock polymers," published in Science 24 February 2017.

Polyethylene and isotactic polypropylene are the two largest use commodity plastics and thus also make up a large fraction of the waste stream. However, the two plastics won't mix together, thus decreasing the value and options available for dealing with mixed waste. Eagan et al. report the synthesis of multi-block copolymers of isotactic polypropylene and polyethylene using a selective polymer initiator. They show that the tailorable high molecular weight blocks can reinforce the interface between iPP and HDPE and serve as compatibilizers for blends of the two polymers. This project brought together chemists and engineers to make a significant conceptual (and practical) advance. The science of synthesizing multi-block copolymers is of fundamental value and there is remarkable potential for this method to be scaled up and to produce real societal impact. 

Read a list of past recipients.


Newcomb Cleveland Prize Coordinator
Science Editorial Office
1200 New York Avenue, NW, Room 1044
Washington, DC 20005

Phone 202-326-6675

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