Neil Garg, the Kenneth N. Trueblood Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has received the AAAS Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Garg has made organic chemistry — the study of molecules made of carbon — one of the most popular undergraduate classes at UCLA. He has also developed online educational tools for students and has written “The Organic Coloring Book series,” appeared on radio and TV shows and podcasts, gave a TEDxUCLA talk, and leads outreach activities in the local community. This summer, he will launch Chem Kids, a UCLA Recreational camp, where children will learn organic chemistry.

“I am especially grateful to AAAS and the visionary scientist and philanthropist Dr. Bhaumik for recognizing the importance of public engagement in the sciences,” said Garg, who is also department chair of chemistry and biochemistry. 

Bhaumik, a former UCLA postdoctoral scholar, helped develop laser technology that led to Lasik eye surgery. At UCLA, he has established the Mani L. Bhaumik Institute in Theoretical Physics, the Mani L. Bhaumik Graduate Fellowships in Theoretical Physics, and the Mani L. Bhaumik Centennial Collaboratory student study space in Young Hall.