Brussels, 28 September 2005
How to make green slime, the Crazy Tale of BSE, mathematics you can touch, the Children’s University, sharks, quarks and the Beagle Mars lander... these are just a few of the subjects that are nominated for the annual Descartes Prize for Science Communication. There are 23 nominees from 10 countries. Five finalists and five winners will share the €5,00 prize, which will be announced in London on 2 December 2005.
The 23 projects nominated for the 2005 Descartes Science Communication Prize span a wide variety of areas - books, TV magazines and documentaries, interactive events, multimedia products, press columns. The common factor is their ability to communicate complex issues to a wide public. These projects and personalities, each in their own innovative way, successfully engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Conveying the thrill of research, the excitement of discovery, and the charisma of outstanding personalities, they contribute to raising interest in research and research careers, particularly among young people.
A high level expert panel of leading scientists, media and science communication professionals short-listed this year’s 23 nominees from amongst a rich field of 63 submissions – an increase of 30% compared to last year – from 16 countries.
Out of these 23 nominees, five winners and five finalists will share the € 5,000 EU Descartes Science Communication Prize. Winners will receive € 50,000 each and finalists € 5,000 each.
The Descartes Prize for Science Communication was launched two years ago to reward outstanding achievements in the public understanding of science. Showcasing remarkable success stories across Europe, the Descartes Prize helps foster interest in science, demonstrates the benefits of research for society, challenges scientists and science communication professionals communicate more effectively, and encourages young people to engage in scientific careers.
The competition is open to laureates of science communication prizes at national level. National prize giving bodies can submit proposals in the following categories: professional scientists engaged in science communication to the public; popularising science through the written word; popularising science through audiovisual and electronic media; innovative activities in science communication; and editorial policy in favour of the promotion of science.
The Descartes Prize for Science Communication complements the Descartes Prize for Research, initiated in 2000, which recognizes teams of EU researchers for outstanding scientific and technological results obtained through transnational research. The winners of both Descartes Prizes will be celebrated at the Descartes Prize award ceremony hosted by the Royal Society in London on 1-2 December 2005.
For details of the 23 nominees: MEMO/05/343