One of the joys of aging—and there actually are a few—is the opportunity to use decades of experience to begin to see and understand what really matters over the long term. What kind of work, what clinical focus, what research paths turn out to be truly transformative and illuminating for our field and the society we serve? With time and experience, we gain greater ability to identify what has mattered and perhaps what will.
Recognizing the accomplishments of our peers and colleagues is a privilege and an honor itself. Every year, ASCO’s Special Awards give us a unique opportunity to help honor those who have and will make a difference. Through these awards, we acknowledge those among us whose work and lives address our mission and core values, and we show our gratitude and appreciation to individuals both within and beyond our community who have helped make the world better.
As a reminder, we have opportunities to recognize outstanding contributions across the full spectrum of oncology. Within our professional fields, we recognize career-long contributions (Distinguished Achievement Award), clinical patient care (David A. Karnofsky Award), pediatric oncology Pediatric Oncology Award, breast cancer (Gianni Bonadonna Award), and geriatrics (B.J. Kennedy Award). We also recognize those who have made noteworthy contributions to the prevention and treatment of cancer (ASCO-ACS Award) and to basic and translational research (Science of Oncology Award). We recognize contributions beyond oncology by our members with our Humanitarian Award and appreciate the teachers who train oncologists for the future (Excellence in Teaching). We also seek to illuminate the efforts of politicians, regulators, philanthropists, and leaders from all walks of life who are helping us confront the challenges of cancer through our Special Recognition, Public Service, and Partners in Progress Awards. An even dozen recipients are selected for these awards, and the Special Awards Selection Committee works hard every year to make sure that the selections reflect the best of ASCO’s ever-rising pool of talent and accomplishments.
For our selections to reflect the best and broadest array of deserving talent, we need to cast the widest possible net. This is where you come in. Among our now more than 35,000 members are included some of the greatest cancer clinicians and researchers on earth. And with one or two degrees of separation, our membership is probably in contact with everyone contributing to the solutions for cancer around the globe. To make sure we don’t miss an opportunity to acknowledge those who deserve it most, we need you to nominate awardees and tell us about them. It is easy if you simply login here (https://webapp.asco.org/nomination) using your ASCO credentials. Or simply email me or another member of the committee with your suggestions. Nominations for the 2015 Special Awards will be accepted until September 8.
Over the years, it has become clear to me that in many cases, we give thanks to those who don’t ask for it, and we honor those who seek no recognition. Please let us know who you think is most deserving so that we can continue to offer our entire community’s gratitude and appreciation. I look forward to presenting them to you during the 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago.