ANNOUNCING THE YEAR 2011 CLASS OF 1959 GENE FRANKEL AWARD
The Gene Frankel Award in the History of Science has been awarded annually since 1988. For this year's
award we anticipate a cash prize of $1800 and a certificate of recognition. If a sufficient number of essays of
sufficient quality are submitted one or more Honorable Mention awards of $500 may be granted. The contest
is open to students who will graduate from the Bronx High School of Science in the spring of 2011.
The prize will be awarded based on an essay about a scientist who is no longer living. The essay must be
biographical or historical in its emphasis, rather than technical. You may write about the life of the scientist
or you may focus on an area of interest or an incident in the scientist's life. Our readers are looking for essays
that include a thoughtful analysis of how the scientist's attitude and mind set were shaped. Please include a
list of the references you used on the final page. The winning essay will be published in a Bronx Science
Eugene (Gene) Frankel was a Science '59 alumnus whose interests combined a love of science, history, and
the written and spoken word. His educational career included Science '59, a B.S. in Physics [CCNY '63], an
M.S. in Physics [Rutgers '65], and a Ph.D. in the History of Science [Princeton '72]. Gene's Ph.D. thesis dealt
with the work of the French physicists Biot and Savart. He researched their work by reading their original
papers in French, in Paris, during the turbulent year of 1968. His friends think he would approve of an award
like this. We hope you too will see the beauty of science in a historical context.
Past winners have researched the lives of the scientists they wrote about in traditional print sources (books!)
and on the Internet – a fitting combination for a Bronx Science science essayist of the 21st century. The
subjects of the winning essays are listed on the following page.
The stories of the men and women who make scientific discoveries are often as fascinating as the science
itself and tell us a lot about the development of our present ways of thinking. Science often holds up a mirror
to the times, and shows the interactions of scientists as people in the society in which they lived and worked.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE COMPETITION
Your essay should be not less than 800 words nor more than 1800 words. Format the essay for printing on
8½ by 11 paper in portrait orientation. Use a separate cover page with only the heading "Gene Frankel
Award Essay", the essay title, your name, homeroom class, E-mail address and the date. The top line of the
first page of text should have the essay title. Skip a line and begin the essay text for that page. Do not put
any other identification on the essay pages. Make sure your name appears ONLY on the cover page. At
the end of your essay, after your list of references (required), skip a line and add the word "END". Make
sure your work is original. Check your Bronx Science Academic Honesty Code regarding citation of
Internet and other sources. Your essay will be reviewed by sophisticated software for proper attribution.
Submit your essay as a file attached to an E-mail to "GeneFrankelAward@gmail.com" with the subject line
"Gene Frankel Award Entry". In the body of the E-mail include the essay title, your name, homeroom class,
E-mail address, and the date. The essay must be formatted as a Microsoft Word (*.doc) file or as a text
(*.txt) file that can be read by an IBM PC type computer. [If you don't have access to Microsoft Word, a
PC, or E-mail, get assistance at school to convert your essay to Word or text format, and get help with E-
mail submission.] When the award administrator receives your essay you will receive a confirming E-mail –
usually within 24 hours. In addition you must submit a printed copy of the essay with your signature to
the English Department Office, Room 207D. The deadline for submitting essays is Friday, April 8, 2011.
Late entries will not be accepted. The award will be presented at the Bronx Science Senior Awards
Ceremony. If you have questions please contact Ms. Damaris Fernandez, Assistant Principal - English.
If fewer than 5 essays are submitted, or if the essays are not of sufficient quality to justify an award, no
Award or Honorable Mention will be granted. The judgment of the Gene Frankel Award Committee is
final in this matter. Thank you for your interest and your participation.
Gene Frankel Award in the History of Science -- List of Winners by Year
Year Winner’s Name Subject of the Winning Essay
23) 2010 Hannah Ingber Dr. Joseph Bell, a master medical diagnostician who was the model for Arthur
Conan Doyle's master detective, Sherlock Holmes
22) 2009 Elizabeth Morgan Nikola Tesla, an avant-garde thinker whose inventions served as a catalyst for the
industrial revolution of the 20th century
21) 2008 Hyun Ji Choi Marie Curie, the first woman in Europe to receive a doctorate in Science, a person
who achieved many firsts in her amazing and inspiring career.
20) 2007 Katherine Pysher Ignaz Semmelweis, who understood of the need for medical hygiene before we
knew germs caused disease, but wasn't believed by his colleagues.
19) 2006 Alexander Pagliaro Charles Darwin, whose personal life was torn between the worlds of religion and
science, causing him to delay publishing "On the Origin of Species" for two decades
18) 2005 Shoshana Leffler Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, and a member of "The
Lunar Society", a group whose thinking changed England.
17) 2004 Akua Hill Lewis Latimer, the black engineer who wore his color with pride, and designed
the modern form of the electric light bulb.
16) 2003 ------------------ No award granted (insufficient number of essays submitted)
15) 2002 Jimmy Mark Nicolaus Copernicus, the founder of modern astronomy, a man who
revolutionized scientific thinking and our view of the universe.
14) 2001 Peter Kim J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant young physicist who was an unusual, and
unusually successful choice to lead the Manhattan Project.
13) 2000 Samuel Ehrlich Heinrich Schliemann, the trader, adventurer and visionary who used clues from
literature to find archaeological sites such as the ruins of Troy.
12) 1999 Ralph Vacca Lise Meitner, the under appreciated pioneer of modern physics, the first person to
realize that uranium fissions when bombarded with slow neutrons
11) 1998 Tayeba Khan Barbara McClintock, who overcame gender discrimination and went on to win the
Nobel Prize for her work in genetics
10) 1997 Jade Joan Hon C.S. Wu, the Nobel Prize winning physicist who hurdled obstacles in China and the
United States in her search for fundamental physical truths
9) 1996 Zirka Horochiwsky Nikola Tesla, the eccentric scientist who helped electrify the world
8) 1995 Lisa Ponomarev Rosalind Franklin, who helped decipher the DNA code, but never received credit for
7) 1994 Raquel Lieberman Richard Feynman, and his investigation of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion
6) 1993 Anthony Hung Louis Pasteur's passion for his work and devotion to the scientific method helped
him gain acceptance for his revolutionary ideas about microbiology
5) 1992 Abigail Chen Margaret Mead’s determination and unique personal qualities, and how they
contributed to her pioneering work in anthropology and cultural studies
4) 1991 Shkelzen Hoxhaj J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had philosophical and ethical concerns about building
the first atomic bomb
3) 1990 Hung-Kit Ng Charles Drew, the black doctor perfected modern technique of blood transfusion, but
died when he was turned away from a segregated hospital
2) 1989 Yunjin Kim Albert Schweitzer, and how his spiritual side was the driving force behind his
contributions in medicine, music, and humanitarian service
1) 1988 Meagan Grant Albert Wegener, and his determination to stand behind his theory of continental
drift, even though it wasn't accepted during his lifetime