The Gordon and Tina Wasson Award: Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets D.Sc. (Hon.), Founder and President of Fungi Perfecti LLC and Host Defense, is the first-ever recipient of the Mycological Society of America’s Gordon and Tina Wasson Award. Named after the late preeminent ethnomycologists, the award is intended “to recognize people with non-traditional academic backgrounds who have made outstanding contributions to the field of mycology, or who have widely transmitted significant scientific or aesthetic knowledge about fungi to the general public.” More information can be found in the July 2015 issue of Inoculum, newsletter of the Mycological Society of America.

"In summary Paul Stamets is a highly original, self-trained member of the mycological community who has had a huge and sustained impact on the field of Mycology. Awarding the first Wasson award to him sets a high bar for the future. It also allows us to recognize a member of our field that the general public and AAAS have already identified as a leader and spokesperson. Sincere congratulations are due to Paul!"  

"I am deeply honored to be the first Wasson Award recipient. The field of mycology is so critical to saving biospheres – yet underfunded, underrecognized and underestimated.  Fungi engage in keystone roles in supporting ecosystem health and biodiversity. Recognitions like this inspire us all to bring mycology to the forefront of public and scientific consciousness. Scientists across disciplines need to work together as we all have pieces of a very grand puzzle. We walk this mycelial path of life together but time is critically short for us to make a difference.  In gratitude and respect, Paul."