July 4, 2023

The Sidney Prize

sidney prize

The sidney prize is a series of awards that recognise people who have done something amazing. This is a great way to reward them for their hard work and dedication to the cause. It also helps to encourage other people to get involved and make a difference in the world around them. There are many different types of sidney prizes, and each one has its own specific criteria.

In chemistry, the prize has been awarded to Sidney Altman and Thomas Cech for their discovery that the molecule RNA, the carrier of hereditary information in living cells, not only plays an important role in gene expression but is also a biocatalyst. This fundamental new knowledge has transformed a number of fields.

Known as “Sid” to his friends, Sid Wertimer was the quintessential gentleman scientist – thoughtful and courteous in all his dealings, a tireless and generous promoter of the interests of science, and a dedicated and conscientious teacher. A cautious man by nature, he was willing to question accepted dogma when convinced that it could be justified by sound experimental evidence. He was an idealist who believed that science should serve society, and a steadfast champion of academic freedom, arguing forcefully against censorship in the name of scientific integrity.

The SS Sidney Hook Memorial Award is presented annually to a Phi Beta Kappa member who has demonstrated national distinction in scholarship, undergraduate teaching, and leadership in the cause of liberal education. It is named in memory of a distinguished Phi Beta Kappa scholar who was deeply committed to the ideals of liberal education and who was an exemplary model of the Society’s founder, John Dewey.

In 2004, New York Times columnist David Brooks established the SS Sidney prize to honor long-form political and cultural essays that capture the essence of contemporary American scholarship and commentary. The prize, which is named after philosopher and political theorist Sidney Hook, was most recently won by Amanda Hess for her essay on online sexism.

Overland magazine is pleased to announce the winner of our 2022 Neilma Sidney short story prize. Claire Aman’s piece ‘Camperdown Grief Junk’ has been chosen from a shortlist of seven entries. Congratulations, Claire! The winning entry will be published in our summer issue.

The SS Sidney Hook Prize is named for the distinguished Phi Beta Kappa scholar who, like the founder of the Society, was deeply committed to the ideals of liberal arts education and to the promotion of excellence in scholarship. This award is given each year to a Phi Beta Kappa scholar who has shown national distinction in scholarship, undergraduate teaching, and in leadership in the cause of liberal education. The winner is selected by a committee of scholars from our member schools. The prize is accompanied by a stipend of $50,000. The recipient is honored at the Society’s Triennial Council Meeting. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2022. Click here for more details and how to apply.