In 2015, Captain Scott Kelly captivated the world and seized the imagination of millions during his record- breaking 340 consecutive days in space. This October, Kelly once again dazzled – this time, guests of the 2019 Brad Washburn Award Dinner, as he reflected on the expedition that shuttled him into the history books, sharing his story of persistence, resilience, and self-determination.
Kelly, a retired US Navy captain, astronaut, and award-winning author, received the Museum of Science’s prestigious Washburn Award. Named for Museum founding director and president Brad Washburn, the Washburn Award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution toward public understanding and appreciation of science, technology, engineering, and math.
The Washburn Award has been bestowed on individuals who embody Brad’s spirit of adventure and his ability to translate and interpret science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for the public. Kelly joined the ranks of other scientific leaders who have previously received the award including Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1965), Dr. Jane Goodall (1974), Sir David Attenborough (1983), Paula Apsell (1994), and Margot Lee Shetterly (2018).
“Captain Kelly’s lifetime accomplishments as well as his commitment to leadership, teamwork, and sharing his knowledge about space make him the embodiment of a Washburn Award recipient,” said Ellie Starr, senior vice president of advancement. “We are thrilled to present Captain Kelly with the 2019 Washburn Award.”
Kelly spent nearly a year on the International Space Station and is a veteran of four space flights, earning him a spot on the list of Americans who have spent the most time in space. On his trip in 2015, Kelly, together with his identical twin brother Mark on Earth, paved the way for the future of space travel and exploration as the subjects of an unprecedented NASA study on how space affects the human body.
His work as a speaker and author have given him further opportunities to share his incomparable story and the lessons he has learned throughout his career. Kelly’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Endurance: My Year In Space, a Lifetime of Discovery, is available wherever books are sold and has been optioned as a Hollywood film by Sony Pictures.
“After a year in space, I truly believe if we can dream it, we can do it,” said Kelly. “If we can do this, we can do anything!"
The event, which raised more than $85,000, would not have been possible without the support of Summiteer Sponsors Gretchen Fish, Michael and Susan Thonis, and Eaton Vance.