Stephen Hales Prize

This award honors the Reverend Stephen Hales for his pioneering work in plant biology published in his 1727 book Vegetable Staticks. It is a monetary award established in 1927 for a scientist, an ASPB member, who has served the science of plant biology in some noteworthy manner. The award is made annually. The recipient of the award is invited to address the Society on a subject in plant biology at the next annual meeting.

2021 Winner: Detlef Weigel

Detlef Weigel is the Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology.  He has made notable discoveries in diverse areas of plant molecular genetics, fostered generations of talent, and through his collaborative network made tools and genetic resources available to colleagues across the globe. Detlef has promoted the plant biology community at the international level through service on numerous advisory and editorial boards including 10 years as Coeditor of The Plant Cell.  Detlef’s early plant work led to direct evidence for long-distance signaling to induce flowering and his seminal discovery of a microRNA mutant provided the foundational knowledge to enable artificial miRNA technology.  He has been a pioneer in exploiting natural genetic variation to understand the adaptive value in plant functions from development to immunity, heterosis, and response to environmental change.  His vision of using multiple genome sequences to study genetic variation enabled his studies and formed the basis for widely used resources from the 1001 Genomes Project and online tools that allowed many labs to exploit genetic variation for other research questions.

Rebecca Boston , Chair (2019-2023)
Julian Schroeder, Past Winner (2020-2021)
Alice Cheung (2019-2022)
Steve Briggs (2020-2023)
Sylvia Lee, Staff Liaison