The Sidney Prize

sidney prize

The Sidney Prize is awarded monthly to an outstanding piece of journalism that appeared in the prior month. Nominations must be made by the last day of each month. Nominees can be individuals, teams or organizations. The winner will be announced on the second Wednesday of each month.

This award is named in honor of a distinguished Phi Beta Kappa member who was dedicated to the ideals of liberal education. It is bestowed annually to a Phi Beta Kappa member who demonstrates national distinction in scholarship, undergraduate teaching, and leadership in the cause of liberal arts education.

Awarded to a graduating female engineering student, this PS500 annual prize honours the memory of Sidney Black who loved her career and wanted to inspire other women to follow their own dreams. It is open to female students who have passed their BEng on any of the engineering programmes at UHI.

Sidney’s research transformed cancer treatment, paved the way for genetically engineered babies, and was instrumental in the creation of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was also a tireless advocate for the free exchange of scientific information, and an opponent of any censorship in the form of academic or commercial boycotts.

After Sidney completed his undergraduate studies at MIT with a major in physics, he took an introductory course in molecular biology in his final semester. He was instantly enchanted, and decided to pursue this new field as his graduate work. He studied bacteriophage T4 DNA replication with Leonard Lerman at the University of Colorado, earning his doctorate in biophysics in 1967.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation awards this prestigious prize each year to one or more books that have had a major impact on human rights and social justice. Past winners include the New York Times book “By Hands Now Known” on Haiti’s colonial debt; a ProPublica/New Yorker article on privatized hospice care; and a More Perfect Union video on corporate greed.

In 2023, Sophia Jactel ’20 received the Sidney Prize for her essay “Domestics and Diversions: Josef Israels’ The Smoker as a Symbol of Peasant Culture and Domesticity in Nineteenth-Century Holland” and was included in a University of Sydney art exhibition that explores home, family, and community in nineteenth-century Dutch painting.

In the spirit of Dr Sidney Hook, who was deeply influenced by the classics and the humanities, Hamilton faculty are committed to an integrated approach to learning that emphasizes both depth and breadth. This is reflected in the broad range of courses offered in the humanities and arts. In addition, the faculty are involved in a variety of cross-disciplinary and inter-institutional initiatives.