2021 NOMIS & Science Young Explorer Award presented at ceremony in New York

May 16, 2022

The winners of the 2021 NOMIS & Science Young Explorer Award, Dean Knox and Geoffrey Supran, were presented with their awards at a ceremony on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at The Italian Academy, Columbia University, in New York. Hosted by NOMIS Board Member and Director of The Italian Academy David Freedberg, the inaugural event gathered together top scientists and researchers from a range of academic disciplines.

The NOMIS & Science Award was launched last year by the NOMIS Foundation and Science/AAAS to recognize young talent. NOMIS Managing Director Markus Reinhard (pictured above) emphasized the importance of this endeavor: “To answer fundamental research questions, enable discoveries and advance human progress, we must engage innovative and unconventional approaches. But employing unconventional approaches in science is risky at best, particularly for early-career researchers. It is thus essential that promising young interdisciplinary researchers receive recognition and support at this crucial phase of their career.”

Dean Knox: Revealing racial bias

Knox, the grand prize winner of the NOMIS & Science Award, is developing statistical methods for analyzing imperfect social science data; this research is detailed in his essay “Revealing racial bias.” According to Knox, “Misleading statistical practices are deeply entrenched in policing research—my team’s push for more rigorous analysis has been an uphill battle. Having serious institutions like NOMIS and Science weigh in has been invaluable. It’s setting the agenda for a new wave of work that will reshape the field.”

Knox is an assistant professor at the Operations, Information and Decisions Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, US.

Geoffrey Supran: Fueling their own climate narrative

Supran, the NOMIS & Science Award finalist, is investigating the quantitative historical analysis of climate change disinformation and propaganda by fossil fuel interests; this research is described in his essay “Fueling their own climate narrative.”

Supran is a research fellow in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University in Cambridge, US, and also director of Climate Accountability Communication at the Climate Science Social Network. “The NOMIS & Science Award is a breakthrough for interdisciplinary scholarship. By championing outside-the-box approaches at the interface of life and social sciences, the award encourages a new generation of scholars to redefine what it means to do rigorous, impact-driven research in the 21st century,” he said.

Left: Dean Knox (center) receives the NOMIS & Science Award from NOMIS Managing Director Markus Reinhard (left) and Senior Editor of Science Magazine Beverly Purnell (right); Center: NOMIS Board Member and Director of The Italian Academy David Freedberg; Right: Geoffrey Supran (center) receives the NOMIS & Science Award from Markus Reinhard and Beverly Purnell

NOMIS & Science Young Explorer Award

Through the NOMIS & Science Young Explorer Award, the editors of Science and NOMIS are recognizing bold young researchers with an MD, PhD or MD/PhD who ask fundamental questions at the intersection of the social and life sciences. It is awarded to scientists who conduct research with an enthusiasm that catalyzes cross-disciplinary collaboration and who take risks to creatively address relevant and exciting questions.

The award is presented for outstanding research performed by the applicant as described in an essay. Award winners receive a cash prize, and their essay submissions are published in Science. At the award ceremony, these young explorers also have the opportunity to share their ideas with leading scientists in their respective fields. More details, including eligibility and application procedures, can be found at www.sciencemag.org/nomis.

The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America

The 2021 NOMIS & Science Award ceremony was held at The Italian Academy, which has maintained a long-standing collaboration with NOMIS that has resulted in research such as the On the Move project. The Italian Academy is a premier global center for research in the humanities and sciences, founded in 1991 on the basis of an agreement between Columbia University and the Republic of Italy. Its chief commitment is to promote groundbreaking cross-disciplinary work while addressing international social issues.

About Science/AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journals ScienceScience Translational MedicineScience SignalingScience Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes some 254 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science, founded by Thomas Edison, has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of more than 400,000.

The nonprofit AAAS—www.aaas.org—is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more. Science‘s daily online news is always free to the public, as are editorials, any paper with broad public health significance, and all research articles 12 months after publication. Science further participates in various efforts to provide free access for scientists in the world’s poorest countries.