Franklin-Lavoisier Prize

The Franklin-Lavoisier Prize is the Science History Institute’s first international award. Named for Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and Benjamin Franklin, two of the 18th century’s greatest minds, this prize recognizes meritorious efforts in the preservation or promotion of the entwined scientific heritage of France and the United States.

The Franklin-Lavoisier Prize was established in 2007 by the late Bernard Bigot who served as president of the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie, the Paris-based “house of chemistry” and cosponsor of the award.

The prize acknowledges commendable work in the preservation and highlighting of any aspect of our common scientific or industrial heritage in the fields of chemistry and its related applications, the promotion of the history of the chemical and molecular sciences and industries, or the fostering of closer Franco-American ties and the promotion of significant activities in the chemical sciences or industries. Accompanied by a monetary award of €15,000, this prestigious prize is presented alternately in the United States and France every two years.

The winner of the 2022 Franklin-Lavoisier Prize will be announced in early fall.

2020 Awardees: Mary Jo Nye and Alan Rocke

The awarding of the 2020 Franklin-Lavoisier Prize to Mary Jo Nye and Alan Rocke took place in February 2022.


Mary Jo Nye and Alan Rocke

Mary Jo Nye (left) and Alan Rocke (right).

Mary Jo Nye is a professor of history emerita at Oregon State University in Corvallis. She was honored for her contribution to the history of the chemical sciences since the 18th century, mainly in the United States, France, England, and Germany, and to the understanding of the relationship between scientific discoveries and the resulting political and social phenomena.


Alan Rocke, a professor and emeritus member of the history department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, was honored for his historical research on the development of chemistry in Europe in the 19th century, for forging a strong bond with French historians who were also working in this field, and for the publication of many influential works.

Winners of the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize

About the Sponsor

La Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie was founded in 1928, in Paris, with the goal of building and maintaining a central meeting and working space to promote the popularization of science and was organized for the service of chemists worldwide. To fulfill this mission, the organization provides a number of services and activities to facilitate cooperation among all those working to promote chemistry as one of the basic disciplines of science and technology.