Information for the Press

What is the Golden Goose Award?

The Golden Goose Award is an award that highlights the often unexpected or serendipitous nature of basic scientific research by honoring federally funded researchers whose work may once have been viewed as unusual, odd or obscure but which has produced important discoveries that have benefitted society in significant ways.

The name of the award is based on the fable about the goose that laid the golden eggs.  Its sponsors view America’s federally funded research enterprise as an extremely valuable goose whose golden eggs are the innovations and discoveries born from basic research that transform lives and fuel the economy.  It also references the Golden Fleece Award, bestowed by the late Senator William Proxmire (D-WI), on examples of what he considered to be wasteful spending.  Sen. Proxmire often targeted federally funded research with his award.

Who has been awarded the Golden Goose Award?

2012 Awardees:

  • Martin Chalfie
  • Della Roy
  • Osamu Shimomura
  • Charles Townes
  • Roger Tsien
  • Jon Weber
  • Eugene White
  • Rodney White

2013 Awardees:

  • Thomas Brock
  • John Eng
  • Hudson Freeze
  • David Gale
  • Alvin Roth
  • Lloyd Shapley

Who is sponsoring the Golden Goose Award?

The following organizations are the founding sponsors of the Award:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Association of American Universities

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Breakthrough Institute

Progressive Policy Institute

Richard Lounsbery Foundation

The Science Coalition

Task Force on American Innovation

United for Medical Research

For a list of current financial sponsors of the Golden Goose Award, please visit our Sponsor page.

How and when will awardees be chosen?

Awardees are chosen by the Selection Committee, made up of distinguished scientists and experts on science.  

Nominations come from the founding organizations and from the national societies for the many scientific disciplines.   Others are also able to submit nominations .  A nomination form will be available by sending an email to  The selection committee will discuss these ideas and make selections.  It is the intent of the organizers that the awards over time go to a broad range of scientific disciplines, including the social sciences.

For news articles, press releases, and Congressional notices regarding the Golden Goose Award, please visit our News page.

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