Research Committees

Frederick H. Buttel International Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Environmental Sociology

Established in 2005. Last edition: 2018.

For the 2018 edition, go to the RC's call for nominations. Deadline for submission: July 30, 2017.


Frederick H. Buttel International Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Environmental Sociology: An award of the Research Committee Environment and Society (RC24) of the International Sociological Association (ISA), established March 17, 2005. These revised rules were adopted unanimously by the RC24 Business Meeting at the ISA World Congress of Sociology, 15 July 2014, Yokohama, Japan.


The international award is intended to recognize and showcase outstanding contributions by individual scholars to the study of environment-society relations during the four years since the last call for nominations.


Recipients of the Frederick H. Buttel International Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Environmental Sociology will receive a certificate or plaque that will be handed to the recipient, after reading the summary of the Award Committee report in public at an appropriate RC24 meeting at the ISA World Congress.


Any sociologist or social scientist, whether or not being a member of the research committee and/or ISA, is eligible. Award Committee members are not eligible to receive the award.


Nominations can be made by any member of ISA and/or of RC24 (excluding Award Committee members), but have to be supported by at least two other members of RC24 and/or ISA. Nominations must include the name of the nominee, a CV, the list of publications on which the nomination is based, and a cover letter that provides a rationale for the nomination. Through general announcements, the Award Committee will actively solicit nominations and will encourage RC24 members and other ISA members to nominate scholars. Award Committee members may not nominate, support, or solicit specific candidates.

As the Award focuses on international contributions of scholars to the study of environment-society relations, questions of accessibility for the international community are important considerations. This means that nominees must have published in one or more of the major languages used by the international academic community, or have had their work translated in any of these major languages (a reasonable expectation for an international Award). The Award Committee will take into account the possible disadvantage if nominees are not publishing in their mother language.

Selection process

An Award Committee will be responsible for the selection process. Every four years – just before the time of the ISA World Congress – the Board of RC24 will establish an Award Committee. The Board will also appoint the Chairperson of the Award Committee who, consistent with RC24 Statutes, will generally be the Vice President of RC24. The Award Committee will consist of at least three but preferably five members, of which at least one is also member of the incoming Board of RC24. The Award Committee should have diverse geographical representation and be able to cover the main languages (either by themselves or via their networks).

The Award Committee will write a report describing its activities and the rationale for the selection of the winner of the award. If no nominations (or nominations of sufficient quality) are received the Award Committee may recommend that no award be given. The Award Committee may also make recommendations for improving the procedures and functioning of the Award process. The report is submitted to the Board of RC24 and, if it introduces recommendations for procedural changes, to the Executive Committee of the ISA. The Board of RC24 has to approve the winner of the Award, but will consider only the adequacy of the procedures and their conformity with ISA and RC24 policies. A summary of the report will be publicly available, and published on the RC24 website and in its newsletter.


The Award will consist of a certificate/plaque and the announcement of the Award winner in ISA and RC24 communication media. No monetary prize is linked to this award; however, award winners from ISA's B and C category countries will be entitled to RC24 financial assistance for travelling to the World Congress.

Neither RC24 nor the ISA will reimburse the Award Committee for costs it incurs, except that RC24 may reimburse the expenses of obtaining the publications of the nominated scholars in the most cost-efficient way.


The Award will be given once every four years and the winner will be announced publicly at the ISA World Congress, during one of the RC24 sessions or a special awards event.
Calls for nominations will be made public at least 12 months before the ISA World Congress. Nominations will close no later than seven months before the ISA World Congress, and the Award Committee will report its selection no later than five months in advance of the ISA World Congress, in order to provide ample time for the RC24 Board to approve the recommendation of the winner before the World Congress and for the recipient to make plans to attend the World Congress.

Comparable Awards

To the knowledge of the RC24 Board no comparable international awards exist in the field of environmental sociology. Some national associations or sections of national associations, have awards for environmental social scientists or environmental sociologists. These are, however, typically restricted to scholars from that national community.