The Keck Futures Initiative – a program of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, with the support of the W.M. Keck Foundation – will award four $20,000 prizes in 2013 to individuals or teams (up to four individuals associated with the creation of the work being nominated) who have developed creative, original works that address issues and advances in science, engineering and/or medicine for the general public.

Nominations were accepted in four categories: Book; Film/Radio/TV; Magazine/Newspaper; and Online. The winners will be honored in the Fall 2013 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C and are expected to attend in person.

To be considered for a 2013 Communication Award, the work should:

- be accessible and appeal to a broad, public audience;
- demonstrate clarity, creativity, originality, and accuracy;
- address issues and/or advances in science, engineering, and/or medicine;
- cover topics that have an impact on society; and
- have been published, broadcast, or released in 2012, in the United States and in English.

Material primarily intended for children, reference books, and textbooks are not eligible for consideration. Candidates may be individuals or teams of not more than four people. National Academies’ employees are not eligible and posthumous awards are not permitted.  This award is not for lifetime achievement; the work for which a candidate or team is nominated must have been published or broadcast in 2012.
Timeline for 2013 Communication Awards
February 8Nomination process closes; all nominations must be submitted online by February 8, and all supporting materials must be received by February 15, 2013.  Please see specific category for required supporting materials.  Supporting materials will not be returned.
Late August/ Early SeptemberWinners notified.
Fall 2013Winners honored at awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Nomination Form 
Nominations must have been submitted on the online nomination form by February 8, 2013; copies of the nominated work must have been submitted as described for each category.  Self nominations were permitted; there was no nomination fee.  Nominators were encouraged to submit to the category that most closely described the work(s) being nominated.  The criteria for each category is listed below. 

Books Category
Books published in the U.S. in 2012 will be considered.  Nominators were required to submit two copies of the book, with the publisher and year of publication printed on the book. Advanced publication dates must include verification from the publisher. 

Submit a book nomination.

Submissions must have aired on a U.S. station or have been released in theaters or on DVD in 2012 and may include a single story or movie, a series, or as many as six brief, unrelated stories.  Nominators were required to submit three CDs or DVDs labeled with the nominee's name(s), the titles of stories included on the DVD or CD, and the original airdate (with the name of the U.S. station and program on which the stories aired) or release date.  Nominators were requested to submit in protective cases.  Authorization allowing the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative to reproduce the CD or DVD for review purposes was also required.  (It was possible to do this by checking the appropriate box through the online nomination form, or by submitting a signed, printed copy of NAKFI's copyright release with the supporting materials.)

Submission of copies of the program transcript were also encouraged.  Nominators who were not able to provide copyright release were required to submit an additional 20 copies of the CD or DVD. 

Submit a film/radio/TV nomination.

Work in this category must have been published in the U.S. in 2012, and may compromise a single article or as many as four articles that are unrelated or that constitute a formal series.  Nominators were required to submit three original copies of each article clearly showing the byline and the name and date of the publication and  authorization allowing the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative to reproduce the article(s) for review purposes.  (It was possible to do this by checking the appropriate box through the online nomination form, or by submitting a signed, printed copy of NAKFI's copyright release with the supporting materials.)  Nominators who were not able to provide copyright release are required to send an additional 20 copies of the article(s) or a PDF file of the article(s) on CD-ROM, or to email a PDF of the article(s) to

Submit a magazine/newspaper nomination.

Works in this category must be created specifically for the Web and have been posted in English online in 2012, to be considered.  Entries may include as many as six online articles, hypertext documents, podcasts, commentaries, etc., or any combination thereof.  Preference will be given to nominations that make the best use of the medium, including multi-media presentations that incorporate a combination of videos, blog entries, interactive features, and/or other capabilities unique to this communication vehicle.  Nominators were required to include links to the unique URLs for each work(s) that will be active through October 31, 2013.

Submit an online nomination.

To nominate click here.

Questions? Please email

Winners and finalists will be announced early fall 2013.