Sean B. Carroll, HHMI’s vice president for science education and a long-time HHMI investigator, has been awarded the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science from the Franklin Institute.
The Franklin Institute Awards are among the oldest and most prestigious science awards in the world, and recipients are recognized for their formidable and ground-breaking contributions to science. The international awards have been bestowed upon such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Marie and Pierre Curie, Orville Wright, Jane Goodall, and more recently Bill Gates.
Carroll, who was an HHMI investigator at the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1990-2010, studies how changes in the genes that control animal development shape the evolution of body parts and patterns. This award recognizes Carroll “for proposing and demonstrating that the diversity and multiplicity of animal life is largely due to the different ways that the same genes are regulated rather than to mutation of the genes themselves.”
Carroll became HHMI’s vice president for science education in 2010, where he directs HHMI's portfolio of science education activities. HHMI is the largest private funder of science education in the U.S.
A prolific writer and speaker, Carroll is the author of six books, including Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Origins of Species, a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in nonfiction. He writes a column (also called “Remarkable Creatures”) for the science section of The New York Times and has served as a consulting producer for the public television program NOVA distributed by WGBH in Boston.
In March 2010, Carroll received the 2010 Stephen Jay Gould Prize in recognition of his efforts to advance public understanding of evolutionary science.
Carroll and the other Franklin laureates will receive their awards in April 2012 at a gala ceremony and dinner at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA.