Johns Hopkins celebrates curiosity, discovery, ambition at annual gala
The Catalyst and Discovery Awards celebration recognizes promising young scholars and cross-disciplinary researchers from across the university
By Hub staff report | Photos by Jim Burger/ Published Oct 24, 2022
Johns Hopkins University celebrated some of its best and brightest scholars Thursday night at the annual Catalyst and Discovery Awards reception at the George Peabody Library.
Award winners from both the 2020 and 2022 award cycles were honored during the event, which was held for the first time since the fall of 2019. No winners were selected in 2021 due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In all, 314 faculty members were recognized—74 Catalyst Award recipients and 240 who are part of Discovery Award-winning teams.
In his remarks, Provost Sunil Kumar urged awardees to be bold, even unreasonable, in their pursuits.
"I must confess that these awards come with a string attached," he said. "The hidden expectation is one of unreasonableness. It is not enough to simply do what you said you would in your proposal. You need to be unreasonably ambitious. To paraphrase Bernard Shaw, 'Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world; therefore, all progress depends on unreasonable people.' So, don't stop being unreasonable."
Catalyst Awards are given each year to early-career faculty whose work demonstrates creativity, originality, and academic impact. Awards are for $75,000 each.
Discovery Awards, designed to spark collaboration across disciplines, go to interdisciplinary teams that aspire to solve complex problems and expand horizons of knowledge. Awards are for up to $100,000.
Both programs were launched in 2015 and have been renewed through at least the 2024-25 academic year.