NCSE Supporter Sean B. Carroll is to be awarded the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize for 2009 from the Society for Developmental Biology, at the society's sixty-eighth annual meeting, held July 23-27, 2009, in San Francisco. Carroll, Professor of Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Medical Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will be honored (PDF) "in recognition of his pioneering role in elucidating the genetic and molecular basis of morphological evolution, and for his exceptional contributions to making scientific advances in this field accessible to both students and the general public."
After summarizing Carroll's scientific achievements, the SDB's citation notes that he "has also led a second life, equally successful, as a public educator in the realm of evolution," listing his books From DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal Design, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, The Making of the Fittest, Into the Jungle and Remarkable Creatures. "Indeed," the citation continued, "the philosopher Michael Ruse has opined that if Charles Darwin were alive today, there would be no scientist that he would rather spend an evening with than Sean Carroll."
The prize, established in honor of Viktor Hamburger, a preeminent embryologist and developmental neuroscientist of his era, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to developmental biology education. Previous recipients include Robert DeHaan, NCSE Supporter Bruce Alberts, Leon Browder, Lewis Wolpert, Scott Gilbert, and, in 2007, NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott. Founded in 1939, the Society for Developmental Biology seeks to promote the field of developmental biology and to advance our understanding of developmental biology at all levels.