The Davis family presents the Watson, Helen, Audrey and Miles Davis award, honors history of science books intended for general audiences


Matthew Stanley is the 2021 recipient for his book “Einstein’s War: How Relativity Triumphed Amid the Vicious Nationalism of World War I”

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – December 14, 2021 – (

The Davis Prize, established in 1985, recognized the key contributions of authors dedicated to disseminating the history of science to the general public. Long supported by the Davis family and originally named after Watson Davis (the longtime Director of the Science Service) and chemist Helen Davis, the award was generously endowed by the Davis family and renamed Watson, Helen, Audrey and Miles Davis Price.

The Davis family has strong roots in the public understanding of science. Watson Davis is known as the founder of the American Documentation Institute (later to become the Association for Information Science and Technology), and for his work as Director of the Science Service (1933-1966), where he lobbied for a broad appeal and understanding of science and for initiating the search for scientific talent. Helen was a renowned chemist and the editor of Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society and a science communicator. Miles (Watson’s son) was a career professor of biostatistics turned mathematical statistician who was a mainstay of the Social Security Administration and worked tirelessly to create a deeper understanding of demographics and underserved populations. Audrey was the pioneering medical historian who spent 26 years at the Smithsonian, becoming the first female curator and creating programs and exhibitions to expand the reach of medical history through material culture. She was secretary of the HSS and editor of the HSS newsletter.

“This generous donation allows HSS to continue its mission of recognizing scholarships that go beyond the ivory tower,” said Jan Golinski, President of HSS. “It is important that the general public is committed to understanding the history of scientific endeavors, and the Davis family has made sure that we can do so for generations to come.”

The Davis Family: Watson – the showman, Helen – the introvert, Miles – the rock, Audrey – the trailblazer, this family, together, brought their personality and dedication to science with the primary goal of providing a better understanding of science to the public through science communication. The United States has a broader and better understanding of science thanks to the family’s enduring commitment to educate.

“It’s important to our family, especially my dad, Miles,” said Laura Davis Beilstein. “It makes me very happy that the Davis Prize is endowed and will last into the future as a kind of living memorial to Watson, Helen, Audrey and Miles.”

For more information, please contact Jean Paul Gutierrez at


About the Company History of Science: The Society for the History of Science, founded in 1924, is the largest society in the world devoted to the study of the history of science. More than 3,000 individual and institutional members around the world support the Society’s mission to generate interest in the history of science, to promote discussion on the social and cultural relations of science, and to bring that understanding. to others around the world.

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The Davis family presents the Watson, Helen, Audrey and Miles Davis award, honors history of science books intended for general audiences

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