The Sidney Prize

A sidney prize is an award given to individuals making an impactful contribution to society, whether that’s through writing or activism. These honors aim to recognize those making such contributions while inspiring others. There are various sidney prizes available with specific eligibility requirements and criteria attached.

The Hillman Foundation was established in 1950 to shed light on some of the key issues of our time, such as finding an enduring peace, expanding civil liberties and democracy, and fighting discrimination based on race, religion or nationality. Each year the Sidney Hillman Prize honors journalists or writers whose writing illuminates these topics in service of public good.

Not just an award to honor scientists, the Sydney Prize also recognizes those who write about scientific topics. Notable recipients have included Ta-Nehisi Coates for his essay about America’s history of black plunder and white democracy, Amanda Hess for her article on online sexism and New York Times columnist David Brooks’ piece regarding student hypersensitivity leading to mental health problems.

Other Sydney prizes include the Edelstein Prize, which is presented annually to an author who has written an outstanding book in the history of technology and selected by a committee of scholars appointed by the Society for the History of Technology. Winners receive both a cash award and certificate.

Sid was not known for being outspoken in his advocacy of his ideas; however, he was willing to challenge accepted dogma with caution. This included challenging theories surrounding DNA replication and life’s origins – his uphill struggle in convincing scientists was especially frustrating; eventually his peers accepted his theory of molecular evolution, leading them to publish “The Self-Splicing Molecule” book under his name in 1989.

Sidney was an enthusiastic writer and enjoyed discussing his theories with his students. In class, he would often use anecdotes to illustrate complex biology and chemistry topics; his students greatly appreciated him for his patient teaching methods that constantly sought ways to improve. They loved him dearly as they appreciated his kindness in helping them through difficult subjects.

Sidney was an exceptional teacher who inspired generations of Dartmouth students who followed in his footsteps. This scholarship honoring undergraduate writing that adheres to the standards of originality and integrity set by Sidney in his classes, writings, and work ethic. Overland magazine and Malcolm Robertson Foundation will host the 2022 Neilma Sidney Memorial Prize; its winner will receive $5000 as prize money, while two runners-up each will be given $750 prize money; final results will be announced June 2023 on Overland website. For more details visit Overland website