Call for Nominations for the 2019 Roy G. Neville Prize in Bibliography or Biography

Ronald Brashear's picture
January 31, 2019
Subject Fields: 
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

We are now accepting nominations for the 2019 Roy G. Neville Prize. The prize is presented biennially by the Science History Institute to recognize an outstanding published bibliography or biography in the areas of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, or industries (including such topics as alchemy, biomedicine, molecular biology, etc.). The prize will be presented on October 17, 2019, at the Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The author of the prize-winning work receives a cash prize, a certificate, and travel expenses to accept the award.


Please keep in mind the following criteria for nominees:

  • The prize may be given to either (1) a monograph that contributes to our bibliographical knowledge of chemistry and related sciences technologies, or industries, in the tradition inaugurated by Henry Carrington Bolton and exemplified in the lifetime achievement of Roy G. Neville; or (2) a major work of biography in the field of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, or industries.
  • The work must be published during a period of five calendar years immediately preceding the year of competition (2014-2018 inclusive).
  • The Neville Prize must be accepted in person by the author (or one of the authors if it is a multi-authored work) at the Institute on October 17, 2019, and may not be received in absentia, except under extraordinary conditions as approved by the president of the Institute.
  • The recipient author is expected to deliver an address at the award ceremony.
  • The work must be originally published in English.
  • The work may not be a reprint of an earlier work, a new or amended edition of an earlier work, or a translation.
  • If a biography, it must be an original work with new insights to offer and should present a full picture of the life of one or more individuals (or things); it may not be a short biographical memoir or an encyclopedia or dictionary compilation or entry.
  • If a biography, the work may be a collective biography on more than one individual (though they should have some obvious connection). Histories with short biographical sections will not be considered.
  • Biographies of “things” (commodities, diseases, animals, buildings, etc.) may be considered for the prize if they relate to chemistry and related sciences, technologies, or industries.
  • The work must be written for an adult audience; purely juvenile-oriented works will not be considered.
  • Five copies of the work must be provided to the prize committee in order for the work to be considered for the prize.


We are accepting nominations until January 31, 2019. Nominations must include the following information and be sent to  

  • Title of Bibliographical/Biographical Work
  • Author’s Name
  • Publisher
  • Date published
  • Author’s Contact Information
  • Brief description of the nominated work and why it is worthy of prize consideration
  • Contact information for copies of the work


Nominations can come from the authors or publishers of the work. Nominating a work for the 2019 Neville Prize does not guarantee that the work will be included among the finalists for the prize. The prize committee will determine a short list of finalists from all of the nominees. If the work is among the finalists, the committee will request five copies of the work for consideration.


Previous prize winners include:

  • Inventing Chemistry: Herman Boerhaave and the Reform of the Chemical Arts (University of Chicago Press, 2012) by John C. Powers
  • Pure Intelligence: The Life of William Hyde Wollaston (University of Chicago Press, 2015) by Melvyn C. Usselman
  • Michael Polanyi and His Generation: Origins of the Social Construction of Science (University of Chicago Press, 2011) by Mary Jo Nye
  • Boyle: Between God and Science (Yale University Press, 2009) by Michael Hunter
  • William Crookes (1832-1919) and the Commercialization of Science (Ashgate, 2007) by William H. Brock
  • A Well-Ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev and the Shadow of the Periodic Table (Basic Books, 2004) by Michael D. Gordin
  • The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1773 to 1804 (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004), by Robert E. Schofield


For more information about the Neville Prize please visit our website at



Formed by the merger of the Chemical Heritage Foundation and the Life Sciences Foundation, the Science History Institute collects and shares the stories of innovators and of discoveries that shape our lives. We preserve and interpret the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. Headquartered in Philadelphia, with offices in California and Europe, the Institute houses an archive and a library for historians and researchers, a fellowship program for visiting scholars from around the globe, a community of researchers who examine historical and contemporary issues, and an acclaimed museum that is free and open to the public. For more information, visit


ABOUT ROY G. NEVILLE (1926-2007)

A consulting chemist by profession, in 1973 Roy G. Neville founded Engineering and Technical Consultants, Inc., in Redwood City, California, of which he was president until his death in 2007. He was also a passionate bibliophile by avocation. Neville began collecting books as a teenager in Bournemouth, UK, and amassed one of the largest private collections of rare books in the fields of science and technology, and chemistry in particular. The Roy G. Neville Library of Chemical History was acquired by the Science History Institute in 2004 and is available for research in the Institute’s Othmer Library.


Contact Info: 

Ronald Brashear

Arnold Thackray Director of the Othmer Library

Science History Institute