Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

A bequest to the La Follette School of Public Affairs established the Piore Prize for Best Paper in Science and Public Policy. Named for Emanuel R. Piore and Nora Kahn Piore, the prize recognizes the best student paper in science and public policy. The La Follette School awarded the first prize 2009.

Emanuel R. Piore was a research physicist who marshaled federal funding for scientific research and helped IBM develop a new generation of computers. With bachelor's and doctorate degrees in physics from UW–Madison, Piore joined IBM in 1956 as director of research. He was a vice president and chief scientist at IBM from 1965 to 1972. Just after World War II, Piore became the first civilian to lead the Office of Naval Research. He eventually became the office's chief scientist and helped establish the National Science Foundation. When he retired, the Navy gave him the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, its highest civilian award.

After retiring from IBM, the Lithuanian-born Piore was an adjunct professor at Rockefeller University, a member of the New York City Board of Higher Education, and chairman of the New York City Hall of Science, of which he was the founding president. Piore served on the Science Advisory Committees of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy and as a board member of the American Institute of Physics and the National Research Council.

Nora Kahn Piore was a New York economist and health policy expert. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in economics in 1933 from UW–Madison, where she received a master's degree in economics a year later. During her career, Nora Piore was a union organizer and supervisor of education for union members; a research economist for a U.S. Senate subcommittee dealing with health legislation; a special economic assistant in the New York City Health Department; and head of a joint project with Hunter College that analyzed the economics of health initiatives in President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society program.

The Piores passed away in 2000.

Piore Prize Recipients

2021: Sarah Ebben, Regulating Forensic Genetic Genealogy: Future Policy Interventions

2020: Laura Bunn, Addressing Data Privacy Laws

2019: Tyler Gross, Closing the Digital Divide: Policy Problems, Goals, and Alternatives

2018: Alison Muscato Harrell, Regulation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the United States

2017: Cole Korponay, The Neurobiology of Antisocial and Amoral Behavior: Insights from Brain Science and Implications for Law

2016: Merrill Mechler-Hickson, An Analysis of Cultural Resource Management Challenges in Washington State

2015: Dylan Blake, Appropriate Labeling of Gentically Engineered Foods.

2014: no award given

2013: Edward Cubero, Sam Harms, and Sam Shannon, Reallocating Distribution Upgrade Costs for Farm Digester Projects written for their capstone course for the Energy Analysis and Policy certificate.

2012: Laura Christian and HJ Waukau, A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme’s Aviation Directive, written for professor Greg Nemet’s course Global Environmental Governance.

2011: Bickey Rimal (MIPA '11), Identifying the Key Determinants of Residential Electricity Consumption, co-authored with Julie Reber, a student at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

2010: Scott Williams (MPA '10) and Karen Walsh (MPA '11), Reducing Black Carbon in the South: Is the Clean Development Mechanism the Right Governance Strategy?

2009: Allison Quatrini (MIPA '09) and Evan Johnson (MPA '10), Developing Selection Criteria for Successful Chinese CDMs: The Prospects of Chinese Clean Development Mechanisms for Global Environmental Quality.