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

  • 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 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 prosecute 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 April, 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 promote science and technology and provides a valuable service to the public and the scientific community.


Executive Committee

Gerard F. Jones, Ph.D.
Camillo J. Taylor, Ph.D.
Vice Chair and Membership
Allen W. Nicholson
Pamela J. Green, Ph.D.
Immediate Past Chair

Active Members

Kenneth Abend, Ph.D.
Beth Adelson, Ph.D.
R. Barnett Adler, Ph.D.
Moeness G. Amin, Ph.D.
Susan L. Best, P.E.
E. Fred Brecher, P.E.
Maja Bucan, Ph.D.
Jim Shih-Jiun Chen, Ph.D.
Peter J. Collings, Ph.D.
Stephen M. Copley, Ph.D.
Afshin Daryoush, Ph.D.
Lawrence W. Dobbins
Frank A. Ferrone, Ph.D.
Dieter Forster, Ph.D.
Thomas K. Gaisser, Ph.D.
Reto Gieré, Ph.D.
Larry Gladney, Ph.D.
Yale Goldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Janice Taylor Gordon, Ph.D.
Roger A. Grey, Ph.D.
Torgny Gustafsson, Ph.D.
Henry M. Halpern
Ahmad Hoorfar, Ph.D.
Maria Iavarone, Ph.D.
Helene Intraub, Ph.D.
Bradford A. Jameson, Ph.D.
Jeremy R. Johnson, Ph.D.
Kenneth P. Kodama, Ph.D.
Andrea J. Liu, Ph.D.
Mitchell P. Marcus, Ph.D.
Spiridoula Matsika, Ph.D.
Christopher B. Murray, Ph.D.
Bahram Nabet, Ph.D.
C. Nataraj, Ph.D.
Nora Newcombe, Ph.D.
Banu Onaral, Ph.D.
Stephen Pessiki, Ph.D.
Peter Petraitis, Ph.D
Stuart Pittel, Ph.D.
Tatyana Polenova, Ph.D.
George Preti, Ph.D.
Leonard M. Rosenfeld, Ph.D.
Dario Salvucci, Ph.D.
Robert W. Sanders, Ph.D.
Gino C. Segré, Ph.D.
Donald H. Silberberg, M.D.
Edward M. Sion, Ph.D.
Amos B. Smith, III, Ph.D.
James A. Smith, Ph.D.
Brian J. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Krzysztof Szalewicz, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Klaus H. Theopold, Ph.D.
Sharon Thompson-Schill, Ph.D.
Judith A. Todd, Ph.D
Laura E. Toran, Ph.D.
Jan Van der Spiegel, Ph.D.
David Velinsky, Ph.D.
John Wehmiller, Ph.D.
Helen K. White Ph.D.
Charles Yang, Ph.D.

Consulting Members

William E. Bonini, Ph.D.
Jane Clifford, Ph.D.
Hai-Lung Dai, Ph.D.
Peter A. Lewin, Ph.D.
Carl O. Moses, Ph.D.
James J. Moskowitz
Richard J. Piccolini, Ph.D.
Arye Rosen, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Robert D. Varrin, Ph.D.

Ex-Officio Members
Frederic M.N. Bertley, Ph.D.
Larry Dubinski
Paul A. Offit, M.D.

Emeritus Members

Aline Akselrad, Ph.D.
Elias Burstein, Ph.D.
Thomas T. Hewett, Ph.D.
Charles Penniman, Jr.
Roy F. Privett, P.E.
Richard Roberts, Ph.D.
David Weiss