Committee on Science & the Arts

The Franklin Institute's Committee on Science and the Arts was established in 1824 as the Committee on Inventions. It was reorganized into its present form in 1834. Its mission is to sustain the scientific character of The Franklin Institute through its investigation of worldwide scientific and technological achievements and its recommendation for the awarding of the Benjamin Franklin Medals in the fields of: chemistry, civil and mechanical engineering, computer and cognitive science, earth and environmental science, electrical engineering, life science, and physics. The Committee carefully selects candidates using a thorough case investigation process to recognize those scientists and engineers who lead their fields, expand knowledge, challenge standards, and serve humanity.

The Committee maintains a very high standard for awarding medals and uses the following selection criteria:

  •  The achievement of a nominated individual must be an invention, discovery, technological development, or a body of such work reflecting uncommon insight, skill, or creativity.

  • The work must have substantial scientific value and/or proven utility. It must have provided significant direction for future research, solved an important technological problem, or provided great benefit to the public.

  • Candidates for the award must be living persons.

  • The Committee considers individuals from all over the world.

Committee members who become case sponsors present their nomination cases for Benjamin Franklin Medals before the full Committee for review and action. Following two successful case readings to the Committee (including a review of letters of evaluation solicited from preeminent experts in the field of the case), the nomination is forwarded to the Institute's Board of Trustees for final review and approval. During the following spring, medalists are brought together at The Franklin Institute for the annual Awards Week and Awards Ceremony and Dinner.

The all-volunteer Committee is composed of scientists and engineers from academia and industry. Meeting regularly throughout the year, the Committee has a reputation of diligence and integrity. Their work is at the heart of The Franklin Institute's mission to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology and provides a valuable service to the public and to the scientific community.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Executive Committee

Camillo J. Taylor, Ph.D.
Chair

Allen W. Nicholson, Ph.D.
Vice Chair and Membership Chair

Donald H. Silberberg, M.D.
Planning Chair

Gerard F. Jones, Ph.D.
Immediate Past Chair


Active Members by Primary Subcommittee

Chemistry


Roger A. Grey, Ph.D., Chair
RAG Chem Consulting, LLC

Amos B. Smith, III, Ph.D., Vice Chair
University of Pennsylvania

Spiridoula Matsika, Ph.D.
Temple University

Christopher B. Murray, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Allen W. Nicholson, Ph.D.
Temple University

George Preti, Ph.D.
Monell Chemical Senses Center and University of Pennsylvania

Sharon Rozovsky, Ph. D.
University of Delaware 

Klaus H. Theopold, Ph.D.
University of Delaware


Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Judith A. Todd, Ph.D., Chair 
The Pennsylvania State University

Jim Shih-Jiun Chen, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Temple University

E. Fred Brecher, P.E.
Brecher Associates

Stephen M. Copley, Ph.D.
The Pennsylvania State University

Gerard F. Jones, Ph.D.
Villanova University

Maria Lopez de Murphy, Ph.D., P.E., FACI
Modjeski and Masters, Inc.

C. Nataraj, Ph.D.
Villanova University

Brian J. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Materials Research & Design, Inc. and Villanova University

Bridget M. Wadzuk, Ph.D.
Villanova University


Computer and Cognitive Science

Mitchell P. Marcus, Ph.D., Chair
University of Pennsylvania

Helene Intraub, Ph.D.
University of Delaware

Jeremy R. Johnson, Ph.D.
Drexel University

Nora S. Newcombe, Ph.D.
Temple University

Camillo J. Taylor, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Sharon Thompson-Schill, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Charles Yang, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania


Earth and Environmental Science

John F. Wehmiller, Ph.D., Chair
University of Delaware

David Velinsky, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Clara Chan, Ph.D.
University of Delaware

Reto Gieré, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Kenneth P. Kodama, Ph.D.
Lehigh University

Peter S. Petraitis, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Robert W. Sanders, Ph.D.
Temple University

Laura E. Toran, Ph.D.
Temple University

Rodrigo Vargas, Ph. D.
University of Delaware

Helen K. White Ph.D.
Haverford College


Electrical Engineering

R. Barnett Adler, Ph.D., P.E., Chair
PECO Energy, Retired

Afshin S. Daryoush, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Drexel University

Kenneth Abend, Ph.D.
Lambda Science, Inc.

Fauzia Ahmad, Ph.D.
Temple University

Lawrence W. Dobbins
Video Consultant

Henry M. Halpern 
TechniCounseling

Ahmad Hoorfar, Ph.D.
Villanova University

Bahram Nabet, Ph.D.
Drexel University

Jan Van der Spiegel, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania


Life Science

Bradford A. Jameson, Ph.D., Chair
Drexel University College of Medicine

Nancy M. Bonini, Ph. D.
University of Pennsylvania 

Maja Bucan, Ph.D.
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Frank A. Ferrone, Ph.D.
Drexel University

Yale Goldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Janice Taylor Gordon, Ph.D.
Drexel University College of Medicine, Retired

Pamela J. Green, Ph.D.
University of Delaware

​Salil Lachke, Ph. D.
University of Delaware 

Leonard M. Rosenfeld, Ph.D.
Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Retired

Donald H. Silberberg, M.D.
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


Physics

Larry Gladney, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Peter J. Collings, Ph.D.
Swarthmore College

Dieter Forster, Ph.D.
Temple University

Thomas K. Gaisser, Ph.D.
University of Delaware

Torgny Gustafsson, Ph.D.
Rutgers University

Maria Iavarone, Ph.D.
Temple University

Andrea J. Liu, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Stuart Pittel, Ph.D.
University of Delaware

Gino C. Segrè, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Edward M. Sion, Ph.D.
Villanova University

Krzysztof Szalewicz, Ph.D., D.Sc.
University of Delaware


Consulting Members

Jane Clifford, Ph.D.
Drexel University College of Medicine

Hai-Lung Dai, Ph.D.
Temple University

Peter A. Lewin, Ph.D.
Drexel University

Carl O. Moses, Ph.D.
Grand View University

James J. Moskowitz
Recording Secretary

Richard J. Piccolini, Ph.D.
Rohm and Haas Co., Retired

Arye Rosen, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Rowan University

Dario Salvucci, Ph.D.
Drexel University


Ex-Officio Members

Larry Dubinski
The Franklin Institute

Paul A. Offit, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania

Darryl N. Williams, Ph. D.
The Franklin Institute 


Emeritus Members

Beth Adelson, Ph.D.
Rutgers University

Aline Akselrad, Ph.D.
AT&T Research Staff, Retired

Thomas T. Hewett, Ph.D.
Drexel University

Roy F. Privett, P.E.
Hitech Associates, Retired

Richard Roberts, Ph.D.
Lucius Pitkin, Inc., Retired

If you have questions, contact:

Beth Scheraga
Director of the Awards Program
215.448.1329
bscheraga@fi.edu