Spring 2016

Science Writing Prize 

Alumnus Sean Carroll recognized for bridging science and the humanities

Evolutionary biologist, educator and author Sean B. Carroll, a 1983 graduate of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, has been awarded Rockefeller University’s Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science. The award was given in recognition of Carroll’s body of work, including his 2013 book Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize.

Named in honor of the noted physician-scientist and perennially graceful essayist Lewis Thomas, the prize was established by the university in 1993. It is designed to recognize “the rare individual who bridges the worlds of science and the humanities, whose voice and vision can tell us about science’s aesthetic and philosophical dimensions, providing not merely new information but cause for reflection, even revelation.”

Carroll is vice president for science education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a professor of molecular biology and genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A major player in building the field of evolutionary developmental biology and a prolific writer, he is also a skilled public speaker who appears frequently in the media to discuss new findings. He created the science filmmaking initiative at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and in that capacity has served as the host or executive producer of more than a dozen films.

Other recent winners of the Thomas prize include neurologist Oliver Sacks, research physiologist Frances Ashcroft and surgeon Atul Gawande.

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