Since its inception in 1824, The Franklin Institute has honored trailblazing achievements in science, engineering, and industry through The Franklin Institute Awards. The Franklin Institute Awards Program identifies individuals whose extraordinary discoveries and innovations have transformed our world, benefited humanity, advanced science, and deepened our understanding of the universe. As the oldest comprehensive science and technology awards program in the United States, The Franklin Institute Awards has honored more than 2,000 of the most brilliant and pioneering scientists, engineers, inventors, and innovators from across the globe. Its history documents the course of human discovery and advancement through the past two centuries—from the diesel engine to the Mars rover, from the typewriter to the cell phone, and from x-ray technology to genome editing. Previous laureates include Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Pierre and Marie Curie, Max Planck, Orville Wright, Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ruth Patrick, Jacques Cousteau, Stephen Hawking, Douglas Engelbart, Martin Rees, John Mather, Gordon Moore, Paul Baran, Shuji Nakamura, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Blackburn, Bill Gates, Jim West and Gerhard Sessler, Subra Suresh, Cornelia Bargmann, John Goodenough, Jim Allison, and Frances Arnold. Explore our roster of past laureates.
Every spring, medalists gather in Philadelphia for a week-long celebration. The Franklin Institute Awards Week features educational opportunities for students and the public and the grand Awards Ceremony, held in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, during which laureates are honored before an audience of more than 800 guests.
By recognizing outstanding achievements from across the globe and the brilliant people behind them, we celebrate the legacy of our namesake, Benjamin Franklin—America’s great citizen scientist, inventor, and civic leader whose impact can be seen all around us today. In this spirit, The Franklin Institute invites you to nominate candidates for the Benjamin Franklin Medals, the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, and the Bower Award for Business Leadership.
Nominees must be living and award recipients are expected to participate in the ceremony at which their awards are presented. Medalists are also expected to participate in additional educational and social events during The Franklin Institute Awards Week. Events take place each spring locally to The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Nominations are accepted from any individual or organization, including self-nominations.
Nominations of candidates traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering are particularly encouraged.
Nomination materials are considered confidential for a term of 50 years.
The Benjamin Franklin Medals – Nominations Welcome
The Benjamin Franklin Medals are awarded annually and span seven disciplines of science and engineering: chemistry, civil and mechanical engineering, computer and cognitive science, earth and environmental science, electrical engineering, life science, and physics. Recipients of the Benjamin Franklin Medals receive 14-karat gold medals and honoraria of $10,000 per award. Nominations for the Benjamin Franklin Medals are accepted at any time.
The Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science – Nominations Welcome
The Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science is presented for outstanding achievement in a different, predetermined field of interest each year. As stipulated by the will of Henry Bower, this award includes a 14-karat gold medal and a $250,000 cash prize. The theme of the 2023 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science is Safe, Sustainable, Resilient Civil Infrastructure.
The Bower Award for Business Leadership – Nominations Welcome
The Bower Award for Business Leadership honors an individual from an American business or industry who personifies outstanding qualities and attainments in leadership, the advancement of sound economic practices, and adherence to the highest ethical standards. Nominations for the Bower Award for Business Leadership are accepted at any time. Recipients of the Bower Award for Business Leadership receive a 14-karat gold medal.
Director, The Franklin Institute Awards