The Benton Award for Distinguished Public Service

Created  to honor Sen. William H. Benton on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as chairman and publisher of Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Benton Award recognizes persons who have rendered distinguished public service in the field of education.

The committee considers eligible recipients to include not only teachers but also educational administrators, museum directors, librarians, officers of learned societies, foundation executives, philanthropists, broadcasters, and publishers - that is, anyone who has contributed in a systematic and distinguished way to shaping minds and disseminating knowledge.

Nominations for the Benton Award are submitted and voted on by several faculty ruling bodies. The recipient of the Benton Award for Distinguished Public Service will be invited to campus the following academic year for the Benton Lecture Residency. Activities during the Benton Lecture Residency might include a workshop, public lecture, or master class, along with meetings and interactions with students and faculty.

2022 Benton Award Recipient

Headshot of Ed Yong
Ed Yong

Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize-winning Science Journalist at The Atlantic

 “Ed Yong delivered extraordinarily high-quality science writing during a time of national crisis,” said Kalil, the Daniel Levin Professor at Harris. "His ability to translate complex science to the public and the rigor, judiciousness, and humility with which he has pursued this effort make him an extremely deserving choice for this year's award."

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Yong has won numerous awards for his science writing, including the George Polk Award, the Victor Cohn Prize, and more. He is the author of two New York Times-bestselling books, including An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us, released earlier this year.