The HERMAN Skolnik Award

About the Award

The ACS Division of Chemical Information established the Herman Skolnik Award to recognize outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science. The Award is named in honor of the first recipient, Herman Skolnik.

By this Award, the Division of Chemical Information is committed to encouraging the continuing preparation, dissemination and advancement of chemical information science and related disciplines through individual and team efforts. Examples of such advancement include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Design of new and unique computerized information systems;

  • Preparation and dissemination of chemical information;

  • Editorial innovations;

  • Design of new indexing, classification, and notation systems;

  • Chemical nomenclature;

  • Structure-activity relationships;

  • Numerical data correlation and evaluation;

  • Advancement of knowledge in the field.

The Award consists of a $3000 honorarium and a plaque. The recipient is expected to give an address at the time of the Award presentation. In recent years, the Award Symposium has been organized by the recipient.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations for the Herman Skolnik Award should:

  • describe the nominee's contributions to the field of chemical information;

  • include supportive materials such as a biographical sketch and a list of publications and presentations;

  • be accompanied by three seconding letters;

  • be received prior to June 1 in the year preceding the award presentation;

  • be sent by email to the current CINF Awards Chair.

Please note: paper submissions are not accepted.


  • Call for Nominations:
    in September, two years preceding the year the award is to be made

  • Deadline for receipt of nominations:
    June 1 of the year preceding the year the award is to be made

  • Selection of Award Recipient:
    Fall ACS National Meeting of the year preceding the year the award is to be made

  • Distribution of press release:
    mid October, in the year preceding the year the award is to be made

  • Award presentation:
    Tuesday of the Fall ACS National Meeting

Wendy Warr & Associates composes a report on the Skolnik award symposiums, please see these here.


Since its establishment in 1976, the Award has been presented to the following individuals at a national ACS meeting.

  • 2023 Patrick Walters for his contributions to the fields of chemical information and cheminformatics applied to computer-aided drug discovery research.

  • 2020 Wendy Warr for her contributions to the fields of chemical information and a number of related fields that impinge on chemical information including chemical structure representation, substructure searching, retrosynthesis and reaction prediction (Symposium Report)

  • 2019 Kimito Funatsu is being recognized for his contributions to structure elucidation, de novo structure generation and applications of cheminformatics methods to materials design and chemical process control. (Symposium Report)

  • 2018 Gisbert Schneider is being recognized for his seminal contributions to de novo design of bioactive compounds and the application of these innovative design concepts in both academia and industry. (Symposium Report)

  • 2017 David Winkler is being recognized for outstanding contributions in the development of optimally sparse, robust machine learning methods for QSAR and in leading the application of cheminformatics methods to biomaterials, nanomaterials, and regenerative medicine. (Symposium Report)

  • 2016 Steve Bryant and Evan Bolton are being recognized for their outstanding contribution: the creation of the necessary computer and software systems to make PubChem information easily web accessible to biomedical researchers. (Symposium Report)

  • 2015 Jürgen Bajorath is being recognized for outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science and related disciplines. (Symposium Report)

  • 2014 Engelbert Zass is being recognized for outstanding contributions and achievements in the practice of chemical information science, notably for his lifelong work in education, research and development activities. (Symposium Report)

  • 2013 Richard D. (Dick) Cramer for his work in inventing the Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA) technique and its introduction into the fields of molecular and drug design. (Symposium Report)

  • 2012 Peter Murray-Rust and Henry Rzepa: for their continued efforts to advance the field of chemical informatics, particularly in electronic and online forms, for opening standards to facilitate first-class science, and promoting new ways to collaborate and exchange chemical data. (Symposium Report)

  • 2011 Alexander (Sandy) Lawson: For his work as a pioneer and far-sighted visionary in the fields of chemical structure handling, database searching, chemical nomenclature, reading machines, and linking text and structural information. (Symposium Report)

  • 2010 Anton J. Hopfinger: For his work as a pioneer and major contributor in the fields of quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) and quantitative structure property relationship (QSPR) techniques employing three and higher dimensional levels of information. Tony has addressed chemical information and modeling problems in the pharmaceutical, polymer and materials sciences.

  • 2009 Yvonne C. Martin: For her studies in QSAR, molecular diversity, molecular graphics, pharmacophore analysis, molecular similarity and combinatorial chemistry, which have had a great impact the work of theoretical and experimental medicinal chemists, and have helped shape the modern definition of drug discovery.

  • 2008 Gerald M. Maggiora: a leader in chemical information and a force of innovation for many years, including development of chemical & biological information systems; molecular similarity and diversity analysis; applications of fuzzy set theory; applications of neural networks; applications of computer-assisted decision making algorithms; applications of information theory; assessment of consistency in medicinal chemist’s review; chemistry space analysis and comparing compound collections; directed screening methods; focused screening methods; structure-activity relationships and activity cliffs; and applications of rough-set theory.

  • 2007 Robert S. Pearlman: He is best known for developing CONCORD, a tool for conversion of 2D connection tables into 3D structures. His more recent work includes innovative software for properly addressing both tautomerism and stereoisomerism in the context of computer-assisted molecular discovery.

  • 2006 Hugo Kubinyi: For his many contributions in the areas of QSAR, 3D QSAR, and Drug Design.

  • 2005 Lorrin Garson: For his outstanding contributions, innovations and development of computer systems for the electronic production and delivery of journal articles during almost 30 years at the ACS Publications Division.

  • 2004 Peter Johnson: For significant contributions to computer-aided synthesis design, reaction indexing and retrieval, and de novo ligand design.

  • 2003 Frank Allen: For the development of much of the software for data acquisition and validation, and for the retrieval and analysis of information in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). For pioneering many of the research applications of the CSD.

  • 2002 Peter Norton: For the creation and implementation of systematic indexing of patent literature coupled with progressive adaptation and training in the use of the system. For pioneering work on topological indexing of Markush structures.

  • 2001 Guenter Grethe: For influencing software developments, database construction and most importantly the utilization of the systems and information to solve real problems.

  • 2000 Stephen R. Heller & G.W.A. (Bill) Milne: For design and dissemination of chemical databases, including the earliest public access to mass spectra and chemical structures. For contributions to the online environment in subjects ranging from toxicology to genome databases. For pioneering roles in electronic publishing.

  • 1999 Stuart Kaback: For contributions to the critical understanding, informed use, and educated sharing of all of the intricacies of chemical patents and patent retrieval tools. For mentoring a generation of patent information specialists and advising database producers and online vendors on the needs of information specialists.

  • 1998 Gary Wiggins: For promoting the use of the Internet by chemists, chemistry librarians and information specialists. He has developed web sites and CHEMINF-L listserv that are widely used. He has also held a pioneering role in chemical information education through degree program design and textbook publication.

  • 1997 Johann Gasteiger: For advancing computerization of chemistry in areas of artificial intelligence, neural networks, chemical reactions, 3D databases, and structure-activity relationships.

  • 1996 Milan Randic: For application of mathematical chemistry to nomenclature and the characterization of chemical structures, seminal work on topological indices and orthogonalized descriptors, research on structure-property and structure-activity correlations, and building tools to model biological activities of molecules.

  • 1995 Reiner Luckenbach & Clemens Jochum: For significant contributions to the design and development of the electronic version of the Beilstein Handbook of Organic Chemistry, thus making chemical structural information, bibliographic information, and chemical property data available and accessible online.

  • 1994 Alexandru T. Balaban: For pioneering contributions to chemical graph theory and its applications to chemical nomenclature, classification of chemical structures and reactions, and coding of chemical information for computer storage and retrieval.

  • 1993 Peter Willett: For contributions to the development of chemical information science which includes the identification of reaction sites and the development of maximal common subgraph algorithms in reaction retrieval systems, the introduction of similarity measures through classification and clustering in chemical substructure searching, 3-D searching of chemical molecules and biological macromolecules, and text searching.

  • 1992 Jaques-Emile Dubois: For the development of the DARC Topological System which led to various applications in search and retrieval of chemical substructures and structures and in artificial intelligence such as in applying sequences of substructure, structure, and hyperstructure in locating chemical entities in their structural context and in evaluation of their local or global properties according to topological or topographical information.

  • 1991 W. Todd Wipke: For pioneering work in the development of methods for representing and manipulating chemical information such as computer-assisted design of organic syntheses, simple interfaces and smart systems, methods for molecular modeling and conformational analysis, and editorial innovations in starting an electronic journal Tetrahedron Computer Methodology.

  • 1990 Ernst Meyer: For playing a major role in revolutionizing chemical information technology through the use of computer methodology since the late 1950's for input and searching techniques for topological and fragment representation of chemical substances, including generic or Markush structures and considering structure-activity correlations.

  • 1989 Stuart A. Marson: For development of innovative, user friendly software which has allowed the bench chemist to more productively utilize chemical information as daily resource such as the first complete commercial system for graphic input, storage, searching, and retrieval of chemical structures (MACCS) and the chemical reaction information system (REACCS).

  • 1989 Michael F. Lynch: For pioneering research of more than two decades on the development of methods for the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of chemical structures and reactions as well as related bibliographic information, including generic structure storage and retrieval, automatic subject indexing, articulated subject index production, document retrieval system, and database management.

  • 1988 David R. Lide, Jr.: For the creation of the National Standard Reference Database Series of computer-searchable numeric databases, administration of the Standard Reference Data Program of the National Bureau of Standards, founding and editing the Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, and participation in national and international data activities of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA).

  • 1987 William Theilheimer: For pioneering a chemical reaction documentation system, embodied in 40 yearbooks of Theilheimer's Synthetic Methods of Organic Chemistry and paving the way to modern chemical reaction databases through codification of chemical reactions and categorization of reactions in terms of reaction type and essential bond breaking and formation.

  • 1986 Dale B. Baker: For leadership of Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) in its move from the conventional abstracting and indexing service of the 1950's to the world's premier automated information storage and retrieval system through courageous embarkation on new paths and approaches including promotion of international sharing of scientific and technical information, which provided direction for the entire information industry.

  • 1984 Montagu Hyams: For contribution to handling of patents by founding in 1951 a one-man business from his house, Derwent, which through his vision, leadership, and business acumen has become, as Derwent Publications Limited, the world leader in patent-based information services producing a diversified range of patent- and journal-based information services available both in printed form and as online computer-searchable databases.

  • 1983 Russell J. Rowlett, Jr.: For guiding Chemical Abstracts' transition from a manually produced abstracting and indexing publication to a computer-generated family of products, and for his leadership in the improvement of patent coverage, the CAS Registry System, timeliness of CA Volume and Collective Indexes, and quality control through a shift from volunteer abstractors to full-time professional document analysts and through the unified document analysis utilizing to the fullest extent man-machine interactions.

  • 1982 Robert Fugmann: For development of the GREMAS system (Genealogical Retrieval of Magnetic tape Storage), the first truly sophisticated computerized retrieval system, based on a faceted hierarchical fragment code for each part of a chemical molecule, and for development of the TOSAR system (TOpological representation of Synthetic and Analytical system Relations) for the retrieval of reactions and other concepts, including establishment of indexing concepts for nonstructural information and creation of theoretical basis of information systems.

  • 1981 Ben H. Weil: For distinguished and dedicated services to the chemical profession, particularly in definition and documentation of chemical literature, pioneering and continuing work in chemical information systems and copyright, including one of the first punched card indexing systems placed in actual use, founding and editing the Divisional bulletin, Chemical Literature, standardization of abstracts, and contributions to the creation of the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC).

  • 1980 William J. Wiswesser: For pioneering mathematical, physical, and chemical methods of punched-card and computer-stored representation of molecular structures, leading to the creation of the Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN) for concise storage and retrieval of chemical structures, which was adopted by the largest chemical and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to manage their respective chemical structure files, and by a number of secondary indexes, atlases of data, and catalogs of chemical compounds.

  • 1978 Fred A. Tate: For conceiving, developing and implementing computer-based information-handling systems and procedures across the full-range of Chemical Abstracts Service's (CAS) operations, which had provided prototypes for other secondary services, for his leadership in the development of the CAS Chemical Registry System, and for close international cooperation between the United Kingdom, West German, French, Japanese, and United States groups in the development and use of chemical information systems and services.

  • 1977 Eugene Garfield: For contributions to information science that have had considerable impact on both the academic world and the information industry, especially the successful application of scholarly work to the business of information, such as founding of the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI), publication of innovative secondary journals and indexes (Current Contents, Index Chemicus, and Science Citation Index), and enjoying acceptance of his innovations through effective educational marketing programs.

  • 1976 Herman Skolnik: For outstanding and sustained service in the field, as one of the founders of the Division, founder of the ACS Delaware Valley Chemical Literature Group, science historian, founder and Editor of the Journal of Chemical Documentation (Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences since 1975), inventor of a notation system, innovator in indexing, and organizer of symposia and panel discussions at the ACS local, regional, and national level.