The 36th Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest has been awarded to Kimberly A. Prather, distinguished chair in atmospheric chemistry at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego.
The Esselen Award recognizes chemists whose scientific and technical achievements have contributed to the public good and enhanced the public’s perception of chemistry. Prather is being honored for her use of mass spectrometry to characterize individual aerosols in the atmosphere. Her discoveries have clarified the impact of aerosols on climate, air pollution, water quality, and disease transmission. Most recently, in media interviews and briefings with public health and other leaders, Prather has spotlighted the importance of acknowledging aerosol transmission to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Prather will receive her award during a ceremony at Harvard University on April 14, after which she will deliver a public lecture titled “Tiny Critters, Huge Impacts: How Microbes Impact Climate and Health.”
The Esselen Award is presented annually by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society in memory of Gustavus John Esselen, a past chair of the section and founder of Esselen Research.