Roy G. Neville Prize in Bibliography or Biography

Mary Jo Nye

Mary Jo Nye

2013 Winner: Mary Jo Nye

For her 2011 biography of Michael Polanyi

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is pleased to honor Mary Jo Nye’s book Michael Polanyi and His Generation: Origins of the Social Construction of Science with the fifth Roy G. Neville Prize in Bibliography or Biography. The prize was awarded on Thursday, October 10, 2013, during the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Board Dinner.

About Mary Jo Nye

Mary Jo Nye is the Thomas Hart and Mary Jones Horning Professor in the Humanities and a professor of history emeritus at Oregon State University. She studied at Vanderbilt University and received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. She taught in the history of science department at the University of Oklahoma from 1970 to 1994 and in the history department at Oregon State University from 1994 to 2008.

Nye’s research has concentrated on the history of the chemical and physical sciences with attention to scientific practice, scientific biography, and social and cultural history of science. In addition to Michael Polanyi and His Generation: Origins of the Social Construction of Science, she is the author of Before Big Science: The Pursuit of Modern Chemistry and Physics, 1800-1940, and Blackett: Physics, War, and Politics in the 20th Century.

Nye has been recognized for her outstanding achievement in the history of chemistry with both the American Chemical Society’s 1999 Dexter Award and the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry’s 2012 John and Martha Morris Award. In 2006 she was awarded the History of Science Society’s Sarton Medal for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a corresponding member of the Académie Internationale d’Histoire des Sciences.

About the Neville Prize

The Roy G. Neville Prize in Bibliography or Biography, established in 2006, is presented annually by the Chemical Heritage Foundation to recognize an outstanding monograph in the areas of the chemical and molecular sciences. The objective of this prize is to encourage emulation, inspire achievement, and promote public understanding of modern sciences, industries, and economies.

The Neville Prize recognizes either

  • A monograph that contributes to our bibliographical knowledge of the chemical and molecular sciences, in the tradition inaugurated by Henry Carrington Bolton and exemplified in the lifetime achievement of Roy G. Neville; or
  • A major work of biography in the chemical and molecular sciences.

In order to be considered for nomination, the work must have been published during a period of five calendar years immediately preceding the year of competition. The Neville Prize may not be received in absentia, except under extraordinary conditions as approved by the president of CHF. The recipient is expected to deliver an address at the award ceremony. The author of the winning monograph receives a cash prize, a certificate, and travel expenses to accept the award.

About Roy G. Neville (1926–2007)

A consulting chemist by profession, Roy G. Neville founded in Redwood City, California, in 1973 Engineering and Technical Consultants, of which he was president until his death in 2007. He was also a passionate bibliophile by avocation. Neville began collecting books as a teenager in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, and amassed one of the largest private collections of rare books in the fields of science and technology, and chemistry in particular. The Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library was acquired by CHF in 2004 and is available for research in CHF’s Othmer Library.

About Henry Carrington Bolton

Henry Carrington Bolton (1843–1903) was a chemist, historian, academic, bibliophile, and renowned bibliographer of chemistry. Bolton documented the period 1492 to 1902 in his Select Bibliography of Chemistry, creating the definitive list of chemical books published during these 500 years. This massive reference work, listing more than 15,000 titles in chemistry, was published by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., in 1893, with supplements in 1899, 1901, and 1904.

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