Meet Kathleen Hall Jamieson, winner of the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal

The National Academy of Science (NAS) Public Welfare Medal is the Academy’s most prestigious award and is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Over the past 100 years the NAS Public Welfare Medal has continued to recognize those individuals who have worked tirelessly to promote science for the benefit of humanity. Previous recipients of the medal include Alan Alda, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill and Melinda Gates, Ismail Serageldin, Eugenie C. Scott, Neal Lane, Norman Borlaug, William T. Golden, Maxine F. Singer, C. Everett Koop, and Carl Sagan.

The 2020 Public Welfare Medal will be presented to distinguished science and political communication scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson for her “non-partisan crusade to ensure the integrity of facts in public discourse and development of the science of scientific communication to promote public understanding of complex issues.” The medal is the Academy’s most prestigious award, established in 1914 and presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good.

Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and program director of the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. She is a pioneer in the development of science communication as an academic field and has authored or co-authored 16 books and more than 100 book chapters and articles on science communication, the media, and politics and presidential campaigns. Jamieson is also the co-founder of the award-winning website and its subsidiary, SciCheck, a resource for fact-checking science-based claims.

“Throughout her long and exemplary career, Kathleen Hall Jamieson has worked tirelessly to bring science, evidence, and facts to the forefront of our public and political spheres,” said Susan Wessler, home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences. “Her work is strengthening the foundation of an important cornerstone of our democracy — an informed citizenry that is better able to discern fact from fiction.”

Kathleen’s accomplishments also include:

  • APSA’s 3rd Ithiel de Sola Pool Award and Lectureship (2001)
  • Her book co-authored with Joseph Cappella, Spiral of Cynicism: The Press and the Public Good (Oxford University Press, 1997) won the Doris Graber Book Award of the Political Communication Division of the American Political Science Association in 2007;
  • Winner of APSA’s Political Communication Division’s Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award for lifetime contribution to the study of political communications (1995)


Read more about Jamieson’s work»