Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach

This award recognizes the humanitarian aspect of physics and physicists created through public lectures and public media, teaching, research, or science related activities. Recognition consists of a stipend of $2,000, Nicholson medal, and a certificate which includes the citation for which the recipient has been recognized. Up to $1,500 will be available for the recipient's travel expenses to the meeting at which the Medal is presented. It will be presented annually.

Establishment & Support

The Nicholson Medal was established in 1994 by the Division of Plasma Physics and the Forum on Physics and Society. It was originally named the Nicholson Medal for Humanitarian Service, and is currently administered by the Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public. The Medal is sponsored by the friends of Dwight Nicholson, and through a generous gift from Professor Herb Berk, the Medal will be awarded with a stipend of $2,000, beginning in Spring 2018.

Rules & Eligibility

The Nicholson Medal for Outreach shall be awarded to a physicist who either through public lectures and public media, teaching, research, or science related activities,

1. has successfully stimulated the interest and involvement of the general public on the progress in physics, or

2. has created special opportunities that inspire the scientific development of students or junior colleagues, or has developed programs for students at any level that facilitated positive career choices in physics, or

3. has demonstrated a particularly giving and caring relationship as a mentor to students or colleagues, or has succeeded in motivating interest in physics through inspiring educational works.

Nominations are active for up three years.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The nomination must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s).

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A biographical sketch.
  • A list of the most important publications.
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters.
  • Up to five reprints or preprints.

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please see the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines.

2021 Selection Committee Members: Roxanne Hughes (Chair), Shireen Adenwalla, E. Dan Dahlberg, Heide Doss, Shannon Greco, James Kakalios, Christina Love, Duwage Perera, Artemis Spyrou, Rebecca Thompson


The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, and scientists from outside the United States are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.