Bower Award And Prize For Achievement In Science

The 2022 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and related postponement of the 2020 Awards presentation to 2021, the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science under the theme "Decision-Making," originally scheduled to be presented in 2021, will now be presented in 2022. The nomination deadline has been extended from May 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

Theme: Decision-Making

Prize: $250,000 USD

Deadline for Submissions: December 31, 2020

The Franklin Institute seeks nominations for the 2022 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science of individuals who have made significant contributions to the scientific understanding of decision-making. The interdisciplinary field of decision-making integrates theory and methods from economics, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and related areas to understand the mechanisms through which individuals and groups choose among competing possibilities and how these mechanisms guide behavior. Nominations are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following subtopics and their intersections:

  • Psychological insights: mechanisms, development, context-dependence, individual differences, cultural variation, evolution

  • Modeling of individual or group choice behavior: valuation, social preferences, impulsivity, strategy, network models

  • Neurobiological mechanisms: human neuroscience, model organisms, behavioral neuroscience, genetic approaches, comparative approaches

  • Clinical approaches: pharmacology, psychiatric disorders, neuropsychological conditions

  • Development of interventions to improve individual and/or group decision-making outcomes

  • Broad applications: artificial intelligence, courts/law, education, finance, health/medicine, government/public policy, intelligence, labor, technology

Nominations should clearly indicate the scientific impact—innovative, technical, and/or conceptual—and, when applicable, the societal and/or economic impact of the nominee’s work.


  • This is an international competition for individuals who have made significant contributions to research in decision-making and/or its applications.

  • This award and prize must be presented to an individual, as specified by the will of Henry Bower.

  • Candidates must be living, and the winner must participate in The Franklin Institute Awards Week programs, to be held in April 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

  • Nominations from any individual or organization will be accepted, including self-nominations.

  • Nominations of candidates traditionally underrepresented in science are particularly encouraged.

Nomination Procedure:

Nominations must be submitted in English and must include:

  • Name and contact information of nominee 

  • Name and contact information of nominator

  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae and bibliography of significant and relevant publications

  • Proposed citation of 50 words or fewer, highlighting the achievement(s) for which the candidate is nominated

  • Narrative statement describing the nominee’s qualifications for the award

  • Four confidential letters of support requested by the nominator, sent directly to The Franklin Institute Awards Office

  • Deadline for completed nominations is December 31, 2020

All nominations and supporting letters should be mailed or emailed to:

Beth Scheraga
Director, The Franklin Institute Awards
The Franklin Institute
222 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1194


The Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, along with the Bower Award for Business Leadership, was established in 1990 through a bequest from Philadelphia chemical manufacturer and philanthropist Henry Bower (1896–1988), the grandson of a 19th century Franklin Institute laureate. The award, 14k gold medal, and cash prize of $250,000 are presented annually to a distinguished member of the international scientific community for work in a prescribed discipline that changes each year. In addition to the Bower Awards, The Franklin Institute presents Benjamin Franklin Medals in chemistry, civil and mechanical engineering, computer and cognitive science, earth and environmental science, electrical engineering, life science, and physics. 

The Franklin Institute Awards celebrates pioneering achievements in science, engineering, and industry and the brilliant people from across the globe who make them. As the oldest science and technology awards program in the U.S., we honor the legacy of our namesake, Benjamin Franklin—America’s first great scientist and an inventor and statesman whose impact can be seen all around us today. Since 1824, we have recognized more than 2,000 of the most world-changing scientists, engineers, inventors, and industrialists—all of whom reflect Franklin’s spirit of curiosity, ingenuity, and innovation. Our roster of past laureate includes Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Marie and Pierre Curie, Orville Wright, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ruth Patrick, Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Cicerone, John Mather, Gordon Moore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Blackburn, Bill Gates, Dean Kamen, Jim Allison, and Frances Arnold.