Recognizing our Heroes of Chemistry

The 2022 nominations for Heroes of Chemistry will open in the fall of 2021. 

Scientists who developed products that have led to significant advancements in medicine, separation technology and semiconductor manufacturing are this year’s inductees of the Heroes of Chemistry, a scientific hall of fame. The American Chemical Society (ACS) has bestowed this honor annually since 1996.  “I am honored to recognize 3M, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, Novartis and Pfizer,” says ACS President H. N. Cheng, Ph.D. “Their risk-taking and commitment to excellence have led to breakthrough solutions at the interface of chemistry and medicine, demonstrating the far-reaching benefits of this kind of innovative work. These Heroes exemplify the ACS vision of improving all people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry.”

Congratulations to the 2021 awardees: 3M, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, Novartis and Pfizer.

What is the Heroes of Chemistry Award?

Who are our heroes today? The media recognizes athletes and entertainers, as well as policemen and firefighters, as heroes. Chemistry has its heroes too; they are scientists and engineers who have made the world better through their effort, ingenuity, creativity and perseverance.  The life-saving treatments and conveniences of the modern world would not be possible without the materials, drugs, and other products of chemistry.

Heroes of Chemistry is an annual award championed by the American Chemical Society’s Board Committee on Corporation Associates that recognizes talented industrial chemical scientists whose work has led to the development of successful commercialized products ingrained with chemistry for the benefit of humankind

Read the press release to find out more about the 2020 winners. 

  • Nomination Package

    Each submission must include a completed nomination form accompanied by the following items:

    • Descriptive Summary: Provide a detailed narrative addressing the product’s commercial use, its benefit to humanity, chemistry's central role, and the involvement of the nominee(s) in developing and commercializing the product(s). Please use clear, non-technical, concise language in this section; this information will be used to draft press releases, web content, and other materials, which will later be vetted with winning companies.
    • Impact: Summarize the market success, societal impact, and economic impact of the nominated product(s) in a financial summary.
    • Biography or Résumé/CV: A short biography or résumé/CV (max. two pages) should be submitted for each nominee.
    • Supporting Materials: Any brochures, articles, or press releases, etc. that describe the impact of the nominee(s) and/or the product being recognized are highly encouraged.
    • Nominee Contact Form: Include all relevant contact information for each team member being nominated on this form.
    • Note: Please carefully and properly fill out the contact information of each team member. This information may be used to contact winners and for sending important information such as invitations, awards, and promotional materials. At least one member of the team must be an ACS member.


  • Eligibility Criteria

    Any private or publicly owned for-profit company may nominate a team of chemists or allied scientists who played a vital role in the research and development of a commercial product that has had an impact on the welfare and progress of humanity.

    Nominating companies may choose to include individuals from other companies, government or academic labs, incubators, or other organizations as members of the teams they nominate. Former employees are also eligible to be included in the nomination.

  • Selection Process

    A panel of judges from the Committee on Corporation Associates will select the Heroes of Chemistry on the basis of:
    • The technical merit of the innovation, including the talent and foresight demonstrated by the nominee(s)
    • The financial performance of the product(s), market share, lives affected and/or other measure of commercial impact
    • The impact and benefit to humankind made by the product(s)

    The selected winners, along with executives from each winning company, will be invited to attend a black tie dinner ceremony.

    Corporation Associates member companies may prepare nomination packages, but their employees may not serve on the Award Selection Committee in years when their companies are nominated. The deliberations of the Award Selection Committee are confidential.  The Award Selection Committee determines the number of Heroes of Chemistry Awards to be presented in a given year.


For more information on the Heroes of Chemistry Awards application process

Phone: 202-872-6360