Young Professional Award: Brittany M. Towers is a food scientist, certified culinary scientist, and has a background in biology and food chemistry. Her work focuses on opening the door of possibility through her visibility and platform as The Black Food Scientist. She utilizes her experience with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Chicago to inform her commitment to bring the fun and relevance of food science to the general public, especially the minds of youth within underrepresented groups.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jean M. Franczyk has led the Chicago Botanic Garden as President and CEO since 2016. Prior, she served as the Director of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England. Before that, she was Vice President of Education and Guest Services at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago and Chief of Staff for the Chicago Board of Education, a policy advisor to then Mayor Richard M. Daley, managed a grant-making portfolio for the Chicago Community Trust, and worked as a journalist for the Chicago Reporter and the Miami Herald. Jean is an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA).
Lifetime Achievement Award: Megan Ross, Ph.D. serves as President & CEO of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and is the first woman and first scientist to lead the global urban zoo and science center.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Edmundo Garcia-Solis is a Professor of Physics and Department Chair of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Studies at Chicago State University.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Angela Olinto, University of Chicago, Dean, Physical Sciences Division, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, accepting on behalf of Wendy Freedman, University of Chicago, John and Marion Sullivan University Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics; presented by Bob Arthur, Magellan Corp.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Ann Lurie, President, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation
Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Polsky, CEO of Invenergy
Advancing the Public Understanding of Science & Technology Award: Gary Brinson, Chairman of the Brinson Foundation
Advancing the Public Understanding of Science & Technology Award: Janice L. Feinberg, PharmD, JD., President and CEO of The Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation. Award accepted by Joeseph Feinberg on behalf of Janice Feinberg.
Advancing the Public Understanding of Science & Technology Award: Eric Isaacs, Ph.D., Former Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories of University of Chicago
Advancing the Public Understanding of Science & Technology Award: Paul H. Knappenberger Jr., Ph.D., Former President of Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum