The Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize, named in honor of the long time director of Science Service and his wife, was established in 1985 through a long-term pledge from Miles and Audrey Davis. The prize consists of $1000 and a certificate.
The prize honors books in the history of science directed to a wide public (including undergraduate instruction). The book must be published in English during a period of three calendar years immediately preceding the year of competition. They should be introductory in assuming no previous knowledge of the subject and in being directed to audiences of beginning students and general readers. They should introduce an entire field, a chronological period, a national tradition, or the work of a noteworthy individual. Multi-authored or edited books are eligible, whereas unrevised reprints of previously published works are not.