Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest

Lord Martin Rees speaks

List of recipients | Photo gallery | Videos of past lectures

The Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest is awarded annually by Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The prize, which includes a bronze medal and $25,000, is awarded for outstanding contributions to science in the public interest.

The Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest was created through a gift from the Nierenberg family to honor the memory of William A. Nierenberg, (1919-2000), a renowned national science leader who served Scripps Oceanography as director from 1965 to 1986.

Nierenberg was a leading expert in several fields of underwater research and warfare, and was known for his work in low-energy nuclear physics. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1971 and was the recipient of numerous awards and honors for professional research and public service.


  • 2015 Lord Martin Rees
  • 2014 Michael Pollan
  • 2013 James Cameron
  • 2012 Daniel Pauly
  • 2010 Ira Flatow
  • 2009 Richard Dawkins
  • 2008 James E. Hansen
  • 2007 J. Craig Venter
  • 2006 Gordon E. Moore, Ph.D.
  • 2005 Sir David Attenborough, OM (Order of Merit)
  • 2004 Dame Jane Goodall
  • 2003 Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D.
  • 2002 Walter Cronkite
  • 2001 E.O. Wilson, Ph.D.

Photo Gallery

Nierenberg Prize

Videos of Past Lectures

2015 Nierenberg Prize Recipient Lord Martin Rees

The text of the lecture is serialized on Huffington Post.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

2014 Nierenberg Prize Recipient Michael Pollan

2013 Nierenberg Prize Recipient James Cameron

2012 Nierenberg Prize Recipient Daniel Pauly

2010 Nierenberg Prize Recipient Ira Flatow

2008 Nierenberg Prize Recipient James Hansen

2007 Nierenberg Prize Recipient Craig Venter