Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest

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.


  • 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.