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. Check the nomination form below for the deadline.

The HSS Executive Office is responsible for requesting copies of nominated


Submit a Nomination for this Prize

Past Winners of the Pfizer Award

Click the book to learn more

Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity
Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale
 The Courtiers' Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV
 Fascist Pigs: Technoscientific Organisms and the History of Fascism (Inside Technology)
 Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century
 Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science
2020 Theodore M. Porter,
Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human

(Princeton University Press, 2018)
2019 Deborah R. Coen,
Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale
(University of Chicago Press, 2018)
2018 Anita GuerriniThe Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV’s
(University of Chicago Press, 2015)
2017 Tiago Saraiva, Fascist Pigs: Technoscientific Organisms and the History of
Fascism (Inside Technology)
(MIT Press, 2016)
2016 Omar W. Nasim, Observing by Hand. Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth
(University of Chicago Press, 2013)
2015 Daniel Todes, Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science (Oxford University Press, 2014)
2014 Sachiko Kusukawa, Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in
Sixteenth-Century Human Anatomy and Medical Botany

(University of Chicago Press, 2011)
2013 John Tresch,
Romantic Machines: Utopian Science and Technology after

(University of Chicago Press, 2012)
2012 Dagmar Schäfer, The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in
Seventeenth-Century China
(University of Chicago Press, 2011)
2011 Eleanor Robson, Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History (Princeton University Press, 2008).
2010 Maria Rosa Antognazza, Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
2009 Harold J. Cook, Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch
Golden Age

(Yale University Press, 2007)
2008 Deborah Harkness, The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific
(Yale University Press, 2007)
2007 David Kaiser, Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in
Postwar Physics
(University of Chicago Press, 2005)
2006 Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr., Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the
Founding of Ethology
(University of Chicago Press, 2005)
2005 William Newman and Lawrence Principe, Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of
Helmontian Chymistry
(University of Chicago Press, 2002)
2004 Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton University Press, 2003)
2003 Mary Terrall, The Man Who Flattened the Earth: Maupertuis and the Sciences in
the Enlightenment
 (University of Chicago Press, 2002)
2002 James Secord, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception,
and Secret Authorship of “Vestiges of the Natural History of

(University of Chicago Press, 2000)
2001 John Heilbron, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories
(Harvard University Press, 1999)
2000 Crosbie Smith, The Science of Energy: A Cultural History of Energy Physics
(University of Chicago Press, 1998)
1999 Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park, Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750
(Zone Books, 1998)
1998 Peter Galison, Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997)
1997 Margaret W. Rossiter, Women Scientists in America: Before Affirmative Action,

(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)
1996 Paula Findlen, Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in
Early Modern Italy
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)
1995 Pamela H. Smith, The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994).
1994 Joan Cadden, The Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)
1993 David Cassidy, Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg (New York: Freeman, 1992)
1992 James R. Bartholomew, The Formation of Science in Japan: Building a Research
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989)
1991 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)
1990 Crosbie Smith and M. Norton Wise, Energy and Empire: A Biographical Study of Lord Kelvin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)
1989 Lorraine J. Daston, Classical Probability in the Enlightenment (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1988)
1988 Robert J. Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987)
1987 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)
1986 I. Bernard Cohen, Revolution in Science (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1985)
1985 Noel Swerdlow and Otto Neugebauer, Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1984)
1984 Kenneth R. Manning, Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983)
1983 Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of lsaac Newton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980)
1982 Thomas Goldstein, Dawn of Modern Science: From the Arabs to Leonardo da Vinci (New York: Hougbton Mifllin, 1980)
1981 Charles Coulston Gillispie, Science and Polity in France at the End of the Old Regime (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1980)
1980 Frank J. Sulloway, Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (New York: Basic Books, 1979)
1979 Susan F. Cannon, Science in Culture: The Early Victorian Period (New York: Science History Publications, 1978)
1978 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
(Ithaca, N.Y./London: Cornell University Press, 1977)
1977 Stephen G. Brush, The Kind of Motion We Call Heat (Amsterdam/New York: North-Holland, 1976)
1976 Otto Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy (3 vols.) (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1975)
1975 Frederic L. Holmes, Claude Bernard and Animal Chemistry: The Emergence of a
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974)
1974 Susan Schlee, The Edge of an Unfamiliar World: A History of Oceanography (New York: Dutton, 1973)
1973 Joseph Fruton, Molecules and Life: Historical Essays on the Interplay of
Chemistry and Biology
(New York: John Wiley, 1972)
1972 Richard S. Westfall, Force in Newton’s Physics: The Science of Dynamics in the
Seventeenth Century
(New York: American Elsevier, 1971)
1971 David Joravsky, The Lysenko Affair (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970)
1970 Michael Ghiselin, The Triumph of the Darwinian Method (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969)
1969 Margaret T. May, Galen on the Usefulness of the Parts of the Body (Ithaca. N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1968)
1968 Edward Rosen, Kepler’s Somnium(Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967)
1967 Howard B. Adelmann, Marcello Malpighi and the Evolution of Embryology(Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1966)
1966 L. Pearce Williams, Michael Faraday: A Biography (New York: Basic Books, 1965)
1965 Charles D. O’Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-1564 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1964)
1964 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)
1963 Lynn White, Jr., Medieval Technology and Social Change (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962)
1962 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)
1961 Cyril Stanley Smith, A History of Metallography: The Development of ldeas on the
Structure of Metal before 1890
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960)
1960 Marshall Clagett, The Science of Mechanics in the Middle Ages (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1959)
1959 Marie Boas Hall, Robert Boyle and Seventeenth-Century Chemistry (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1958)