The George C. Williams Prize  of $1,000 is awarded each year to the  first author of the most significant article published in the Society’s flagship journal, Evolution, Medicine and Public Health. Oxford University Press publishes the journal open access. Cynthia Beall is the editor. All articles published each year will be automatically considered for the Prize. The Prize is made possible by donations from Doris Williams, Randolph Nesse, and other supporters oEvolution Medicine, & Public Health

The Prize recognizes the contributions of George C Williams to evolutionary medicine, and aims to encourage and highlight important research in this growing field. In a seminal 1957 paper, Williams initiated work on several problems central to medicine, including an evolutionary theory of aging and life history traits including menopause. He did important work on the problem of why sex exists. Perhaps his most lasting contribution is his 1966 book Adaptation and Natural Selection, a critique of group selection that transformed how biologists think about the evolution of sociality. In the 1990’s he collaborated with Randolph Nesse on a series of papers and a book that inspired much ongoing work on how evolutionary biology can help us understand disease and improve human health. 

George C. Williams Prize Winners

2023 for the best article published in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health in 2022

Evolved resistance to a novel cationic peptide antibiotic requires high mutation supply byt Santos-Lopez, A., Fritz, M. J., Lombardo, J. B., Burr, A. H. P., Heinrich, V. A., Marshall, C. W., & Cooper, V. S. (2022).  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health10(1), 266–276.

First authors Alfonso Santos and Melissa Fritz will present the work at the ISEMPH annual meeting in Irvine, California, 14-17 August 2023. 

Warmest thanks to the Editor, Cynthia Beall, and the Prize Committee: Sylvia Cremer (chair), Bridget Alex, and Roderich Römhild and to donors who make the Prize possible.           

Luca Ermini 2022 for the best article published in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health in 2021

Evolutionary selection of alleles in the melanophilin gene that impacts on prostate organ function and cancer risk, by Ermini, Luca, Jeffrey C Francis, Gabriel S Rosa, Alexandra J Rose, Jian Ning, Mel Greaves, and Amanda Swain, all from The Institute of Cancer Research in London.

First author Luca Ermini, pictured left, will present the work in a plenary session at ISEMPH 2022.

The Prize Committee also recognized three other articles as finalists.

The Prize Committee included Konstantinos Voskarides (chair), Eric Shattuck, and Jessica Hoffman,


"Interpreting polygenic scores, polygenic adaptation, and human phenotypic differences"

by Noah A. Rosenberg; Michael D Edge; Jonathan K Pritchard; Marcus W Feldman

Stanford University

Steven Austad - Duke Lemur Center2019

"Is antagonistic pleiotropy ubiquitous in aging biology?"

by Stephen N Austad and Jessica M. Hoffman

University of Alabama


“Time from pre-eclampsia diagnosis to delivery affects future health prospects of children” 

by Birgitte Hollegaard; Jacob A. Lykke; Jacobus J. Boomsma

University of Copenhagen


Postnatal depression and reproductive success in modern, low-fertility contexts. article

by Sara Myers, and her colleagues Oskar Burger and Sarah E.

University of Kent, Canterbury.


"Adaptive learning can result in a failure to profit from good conditions: implications for understanding depression" 

by Pete C Trimmer, Andrew D. Higginson, Tim W. Fawcett, John M. McNamara, and Alasdair I. Houston.  

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