Barus Award & Recipients

The Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest

Carl Barus
From about 1985 through 1990 Carl Barus chaired SSIT’s Awards Committee. He carefully and thoroughly gathered and evaluated information about each proposed candidate. Published articles, internal reports, memos, and letters were supplemented, as appropriate, by oral interviews with knowledgeable people. Thus, when SSIT gave its Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest, which, by its very nature goes to people involved in controversies, we were confident that the society would not be embarrassed by the sudden surfacing of information detrimental to the awardee. The high reputation of this award owes a great deal to the work of Carl Barus. In many other ways this very able, wise man quietly contributed to the development of SSIT and its predecessor committee. It is therefore highly appropriate to have the award named in his honor, and dedicated to his memory. –S. H. Unger (3/23/95)

If you can identify persons who might qualify for this recognition, please complete the nomination form.

Barus recipients:

  • 1978 Max Blankenzee, Robert Bruder, Holger Hjortzvang: Reported BART rail system problems
  • 1979 Virginia Edgerton: Raised awareness of New York City emergency response system problems
  • 1986 Rick Parks: Challenged unsafe conditions on nuclear power industry
  • 1988 Benjamin Linder: Advanced appropriate technology in Nicaragua
  • 1991 Demetrios L. Basdekas: Worked for improvements in nuclear power regulation
  • 1997 Rebecca Leaf: Worked for improvements in Nicaraguan power system and access
  • 2001 Salvador Castro: Reported hazardous product to U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • 2003 David Monts: Reported safety issues in Univ. of New Orleans physical plant
  • 2006 Nancy Kymn Harvin: Reported hazards at Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants
  • 2008 Michael DeKort: Discovered and exposed problems in a US Coast Guard boat design that endangered lives and national security.
  • 2013 Marc Edwards: Exposing extreme levels of lead contamination in Washington, DC, drinking water
    (click link to see his related TED talk)
  • 2018 Philip Koopman: uncovered automotive software defects