The Society: Pfizer Award

The Pfizer Award was established in 1958 through the generosity of Pfizer, Inc., a diversified research-based company. The award consists of a medal and $2,500. This prize is awarded in recognition of an outstanding book dealing with the history of science. The book must be published in English during a period of three calendar years immediately preceding the year of competition (books eligible for 2006 were published in 2003, 2004, or 2005). Edited volumes, as well as works with more than 2 authors, are not eligible. A multi-volume work by one or two authors may be nominated only after the publication of all the volumes. The Pfizer Prize may not be split between two books. The prize committee may consider books where medicine or technology is a central theme. However, both the Society for the History of Technology and the American Association for the History of Medicine award their own prizes and while strict separation of fields is not always possible or desirable, the Pfizer Award should be given to a book that is principally a history of science. Deadline is 1 April of each year.

The HSS Executive Office is responsible for requesting copies of nominated books.

Submit a Nomination for the Pfizer Prize

Sarton Medal
Prize Committee Members:


Past Winners of the Pfizer Award


Marie Boas Hall, Robert Boyle and Seventeenth-Century Chemistry (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1958).


Marshall Clagett, The Science of Mechanics in the Middle
(Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1959).


Cyril Stanley Smith, A History of Metallography: The Development of ldeas on the Structure of Metal before 1890 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960).


Henry Guerlac, Lavoisier, The Crucial Year: The Background and Origin of His Firsr Experiments on Combustion in 1772 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1961).


Lynn White, Jr., Medieval Technology and Social Change (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962).


Robert E. Schofield, The Lunar Society of Birmingham: A Social History of Provincial Science and Industry in Eighteenth-Century England (London: Oxford University Press, 1963).


Charles D. O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-1564 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964).


L. Pearce Williams, Michael Faraday: A Biography (New York: Basic Books, 1965).


Howard B. Adelmann, Marcello Malpighi and the Evolution of Embryology (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1966).


Edward Rosen, Kepler's Somnium (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967).


Margaret T. May, Galen on the Usefulness of the Parts of the Body (Ithaca. N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1968).


Michael Ghiselin, The Triumph of the Darwinian Method (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969).


David Joravsky, The Lysenko Affair (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970).


Richard S. Westfall, Force in Newton's Physics: The Science of Dynamics in the Seventeenth Century (New York: American Elsevier, 1971).


Joseph Fruton, Molecules and Life: Historical Essays on the Interplay of Chemistry and Biology (New York: John Wiley, 1972).


Susan Schlee, The Edge of an Unfamiliar World: A History of Oceanography (New York: Dutton, 1973).


Frederic L. Holmes, Claude Bernard and Animal Chemistry: The Emergence of a Scientist (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974).


Otto Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy (3 vols.) (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1975).


Stephen G. Brush, The Kind of Motion We Call Heat (Amsterdam/New York: North-Holland, 1976).


Allen G. Debus, The Chemical Philosophy: Paracelsian Science and Medicine in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (New York: Science History Publications, 1977).
Merritt Roe Smith, Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology: The Challenge of Change (Ithaca, N.Y./London: Cornell University Press, 1977).


Susan F. Cannon, Science in Culture: The Early Victorian Period (New York: Science History Publications, 1978).


Frank J. Sulloway, Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (New York: Basic Books, 1979).


Charles Coulston Gillispie, Science and Polity in France at the End of the Old Regime (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980).


Thomas Goldstein, Dawn of Modern Science: From the Arabs to Leonardo da Vinci (New York: Houghton Mifllin, 1980).


Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of lsaac Newton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).


Kenneth R. Manning, Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983).


Noel Swerdlow and Otto Neugebauer, Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus's De Revolutionibus (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1984).


I. Bernard Cohen, Rcvolution in Science (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1985).


Christa Jungnickel and Russell McCormmach, Intellectual Mastery of Nature: Theoretical Physics from Ohm to Einstein; Volume I: The Torch of Mathematics, 1800-1870; Volume II: The Now Mighty Theoretical Physics, 1870-1925 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).


Robert J. Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).


Lorraine J. Daston, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1988).


Crosbie Smith and M. Norton Wise, Energy and Empire: A Biographical Study of Lord Kelvin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).


Adrian Desmond, The Politics of Evolution: Morphology, Medicine, and Reform in Radical London (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989).
John W. Servos, Physical Chemistry from Ostwald to Pauling: The Making of a Science in America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990).


James R. Bartholomew, The Formation of Science in Japan: Building a Research Tradition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).


David Cassidy, Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg (New York: Freeman, 1992).


Joan Cadden, The Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).


Pamela H. Smith, The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994).


Paula Findlen, Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).


Margaret W. Rossiter, Women Scientists in America: Before Affirmative Action, 1940-1972 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).


Peter Galison, Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997).


Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park, Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750 (Zone Books, 1998).


Crosbie Smith, The Science of Energy: A Cultural History of Energy Physics (University of Chicago Press, 1998).


John Heilbron, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories (Harvard University Press, 1999).


James Secord, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" (University of Chicago Press, 2000).


Mary Terrall, The Man Who Flattened the Earth: Maupertuis and the Sciences in the Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2002).


Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place(Princeton University Press, 2003).


William Newman and Lawrence Principe, Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry (University of Chicago Press, 2002).


Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr., Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the Founding of Ethology(University of Chicago Press, 2005).


David Kaiser, Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics(University of Chicago Press, 2005).


Deborah Harkness, The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution (Yale University Press, 2007).


Harold J. Cook, Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age (Yale University Press, 2007).


Maria Rosa Antognazza, Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2009).


Eleanor Robson, Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History (Princeton University Press, 2008).


Dagmar Schäfer, The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China (University of Chicago Press, 2011)


John Tresch, Romantic Machines: Utopian Science and Technology after Napoleon (University of Chicago Press, 2012)


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