The committee is responsible for selecting the recipient of the Howe Medal and presenting the award at the annual meeting banquet.
The Howe Medal is awarded not more often than once a year and not more than once to the same individual. The award need not be presented every year. Membership and active participation in the Society are desirable but not absolute requirements. The Howe Medal is awarded to recognize one or more of the following criteria:
(a) A discovery or innovation that advances the progress of ophthalmology in all parts of the world.
(b) Outstanding original investigations in ophthalmology.
(c) Significant contributions as an ophthalmic educator.
(d) Meritorious and remarkable service to ophthalmology.
The Committee on Prizes consists of 3 Active or Emeritus Members, one appointed each year by the Council, each of whom serves for a 3-year term. The appointed member who is senior in service on the committee serves as the chair.
The chair convenes the committee members for the purpose of selecting a Howe Medal recipient. Members of the Committee on Prizes and the AOS Council should not be candidates for the award. The Committee will review the Society’s membership roster and will solicit nominations from the membership at large, including notable non-members who may be suitable recipients. The announcement of the awardee and, when possible, the presentation of the award, is not made until the banquet at the annual meeting of the Society. The committee members should work with the family or a close friend to ensure the recipient’s attendance at the meeting while maintaining confidentiality. If a member is selected as the Howe Medalist but is unable to attend the meeting, that person may receive the award in absentia. Under the supervision of the Executive Vice President, the AOS staff ensures that the Howe Medal is engraved appropriately and coordinates transport of the medal to the meeting.