Alexandra Jane Noble Science Communication Awards

Alan Alda Receiving the 2018 Science Awareness Award 


Making science the basis for enlightened discussion

Novim regrets that due to COVID-19, the 2020 AJN Awards have been postponed to the spring of 2021.

The Alexandra Jane Noble Awards honor efforts to communicate complex topics in innovative, engaging ways to stimulate higher awareness of scientific issues in the general populace–particularly in young adults. Janie Noble, a Stanford graduate and prolific writer, envisioned a new type of “epiphany” awards that embraced her vision of scientific discovery and contribution with two  fundamental emphases:

  • It should be a “Fun” set of awards, that should become sustaining, building recognition over time.
  • It should be about conveying the excitement and thrill of science to lay audiences, especially young women.

The awards have three specific goals:

  • Celebrate successful ‘epiphany’ science and its creators
  • Stimulate students, especially young women, to enter scientific careers
  • Support better expository writing and documentaries about ‘great science’

Presented in memory of Alexandra Jane Noble, the awards are:

Science Awareness Award—Recognizes one individual, team, or organization that best is able to communicate complex science topics in innovative, engaging ways to stimulate higher awareness and participation by a wide populace, especially youth.

Science Inspiration Award—For ‘unsung heroes’—teachers in the classroom, coaches and mentors in clubs, and volunteers in related science education centers. The work of these heroes will be judged for its impact on stimulating potential leaders and wide audience understanding of science and technology for critical, often provocative, social issues.

Science and Society Award—Focuses on recognizing individuals who are making impacts in different areas, including social media, film, books, etc. and for academic researchers, specifically faculty, graduate students, etc.

Science Courage Award—Recognizes those who speak out professionally as well as scientifically to correct a misimpression or right a wrong in the name of science and public understanding .

The AJN Award program is overseen by Chuck House, former engineering director at HP, former director of mediaX at Stanford University, member of the board of the Computer History Museum, and past president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Sara Miller McCune Receiving the 2019 Science Courage Award

2019 AJN Awards

In 2019, Novm awarded 10 Alexandra Jane Noble Science Communication awards to 9 individuals, and one couple.  These awards ranged from publishers, to film makers, to publishers of books and videos.  As a group, they personify the goals of the AJN Awards and Janie Noble would have been proud to meet them.

2018 AJN Awards

In 2018, Novm awarded 4 Alexandra Jane Noble Science Communication awards to 4 individuals.  These awards included household names (who also are among the forefront on science communication), a university president remaking higher education in engineering, a scientist offering critical reviews of the scientific methods in research today, and the founder of a pioneering media collaboration between a major university and industry. 

Sara Miller McCune Receiving the 2019 Science Courage Award