Announcing The 2022 Franklin Institute Laureates

Franklin Institute Honors CEOs of Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J in Philadelphia, May 2-5, 2022
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 8:58 AM MST

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Franklin Institute is proud to recognize thirteen outstanding individuals for their achievements in science, engineering, and corporate leadership. Each year, the Franklin Institute awards Benjamin Franklin Medals for transformative advances and global breakthroughs in science and technology, two Bower Awards—one for extraordinary business leadership, and another for achievement in science, and the new Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award, which is presented to an exceptional early-career researcher.

The Franklin Institute.
The Franklin Institute.

The Bower Award for Business Leadership honors leaders in American business who personify outstanding qualities and attainments in leadership, the advancement of sound economic practices, and adherence to the highest ethical standards. This year, the Franklin Institute is proud to recognize Stéphane Bancel, Moderna CEO; Albert Bourla, DVM, Ph.D., Pfizer Chairman & CEO; and Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO, with the Bower Award for Business Leadership. These three individuals are being named laureates for leading the development and distribution of vaccines on an unprecedented timescale during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science is presented in a different, pre-determined theme each year, and comes with a cash prize of $250,000. Theme for the 2022 award is "Decision Making." This year's laureate is Paul Slovic, Ph.D., for his research on human judgment, decision making, risk perception, and apathy, which has shaped policy in fields ranging from health and medicine to government and industry.

Since 1824, The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia has honored the legacy of Benjamin Franklin by presenting awards for outstanding achievements in science and industry. The Franklin Institute Awards Program has recognized more than 2,000 of the most pioneering scientists, engineers, inventors, and innovators from across the globe. In 2022, seven Benjamin Franklin Awards, including the Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award, and Benjamin Franklin Medals in Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Science, Electrical Engineering, Life Science, and Physics will be awarded to Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D.; Sheldon Weinbaum, Ph.D.; Carol V. Robinson DBE, FRS, FRSC, FMedSci; Sallie W. Chisholm, Ph.D.; P. Daniel Dapkus and Russell D. Dupuis, Ph.D., Ph.D.; Katalin Karikó, Ph.D. and Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.; and Edward C. Stone, Ph.D., respectively, for their contributions to human advancement.

Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute, said, "These achievements come at a critical time for us all. If there is anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us—it is that science matters. We are proud to continue The Franklin Institute's longtime tradition of recognizing folks for their contributions to humanity."

2022 Franklin Institute Awards Laureates

2022 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science

  • Paul Slovic, Ph.D.
    For foundational theoretical and empirical contributions to the study of decision making, including understanding perceptions of individual and societal risk, and cognitive and emotional factors affecting preference. His research shapes policy in fields ranging from health and medicine to government and industry.

2022 Bower Award and Prize for Business Leadership

  • Stéphane Bancel, Albert Bourla, DVM, Ph.D., and Alex Gorsky
    For their collective leadership during the COVID-19 crisis, principally the development and distribution of exceptionally effective vaccines on an unprecedented timescale.

2022 Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award

  • Kafui Dzirasa, M.D., Ph.D.
    For studies investigating how stress and other environmental factors affect the brain through genetic and electrochemical mechanisms, which led to important insights into cognitive and emotional function and depressive disorders.

2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Biomedical Engineering

  • Sheldon Weinbaum, Ph.D.
    For foundational contributions to our understanding of heat flow among arteries, veins, and capillaries in the body, increasing our knowledge of cardiovascular disease and leading to life-saving technologies.

2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry

  • Carol V. Robinson DBE, FRS, FRSC, FMedSci
    For developing techniques for analyzing interactions of biological molecules such as proteins and lipids, thus elucidating their biological functions and assisting in pharmaceutical discovery.

2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth & Environmental Science

  • Sallie W. Chisholm, Ph.D.
    For her leading role in the discovery of Prochlorococcus, a marine microorganism that is the most abundant photosynthetic organism known, and for her pioneering studies exploring the role of Prochlorococcus and other ocean microbes in global chemical cycles and Earth's climate.

2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering

  • P. Daniel Dapkus, Ph.D. and Russell D. Dupuis, Ph.D. 
    For pioneering the technology that provides the materials quality and ultra-precision required for many device components central to modern life, including LEDs, transistors, lasers, and high-performance solar cells.

2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science

  • Katalin Karikó, Ph.D. and Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D.
    For fundamental research enabling the use of mRNA as a safe, effective, and life-saving vaccine platform for the prevention of infectious disease, including COVID-19.

2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics

  • Edward C. Stone, Ph.D.
    For leading NASA's Voyager program in its exploration of the environments of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and for his vision to continue the mission on a 40-year journey beyond our solar system to transmit back information from interstellar space.

The Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Bank of America returns in 2022 as the Presenting Sponsor of the Awards Ceremony and Dinner for the 20th consecutive year.

Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. As Pennsylvania's most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. For more information, visit

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