Richard C. Atkinson has made a gift of $3.5 million to the National Academy of Sciences to establish the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. Beginning in 2014, the $200,000 prize will be given biennially to an individual (or may be shared by two individuals) responsible for significant advances in the psychological and cognitive sciences with important implications for formal and systematic theory in these fields.
"Because of the dedication of many brilliant researchers, the psychological and cognitive sciences have seen incredible advances in the past decades," said Atkinson, president emeritus of the University of California and professor emeritus of cognitive science and psychology at the University of California, San Diego. "This award is intended to recognize and support scientists in improving our understanding of how the mind works."
Although the psychological and cognitive sciences are long-established fields and many senior scientists are deserving of the award, the intent of the prize is to honor recent work in these areas of research. Recipients will be selected by NAS members in these disciplines, and prizes will be awarded at the NAS annual meeting.
"Dr. Atkinson's generous gift enables the National Academy of Sciences to recognize outstanding individuals who are making fundamental contributions to the advancement of these important areas of science," said Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences.