Created on Thursday, 25 April 2013 13:10
Created on Thursday, 21 March 2013 09:32
Oslo, 20 March 2013
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2013 to Pierre Deligne, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He receives the Abel Prize “for seminal contributions to algebraic geometry and for their transformative impact on number theory,
representation theory, and related fields”, to quote the Abel committee. The Academy’s President, Kirsti Strøm Bull, made the announcement on 20 March. Deligne will receive the Abel Prize from H.M. King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo on the 21st of May.
Pierre Deligne was born in 1944 in Brussels, Belgium. He is Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA. Deligne came to Princeton in 1984 from Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS) at Bures-sur-Yvette near Paris, France, where he was appointed its youngest ever permanent member in 1970.
The Abel Prize recognizes contributions of extraordinary depth and influence to the mathematical sciences. It carries a cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (about EUR 800,000 or USD 1 million).
The Abel Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The choice of the Abel Laureate is based on the recommendation of the Abel Committee, which consists of five internationally recognized mathematicians. The Abel Prize was awarded for the first time in 2003. The Abel Prize and
associated events are funded by the Norwegian Government.
For more information about the laureate, his achievements and the Abel Prize, visit the Abel Prize website www.abelprisen.no/en/
Pierre Deligne will be at IHÉS in Paris on the day of the announcement. Press contact at IHÉS:
+33 1 60 92 66 72
+33 6 07 96 33 49
Press contact at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton:
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Institute for Advanced Study
t: + 1 609-734-8239
Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters/Abel Prize
Phone: +47 22 12 10 92/Mobile: +47 41 56 74 06
Created on Thursday, 21 March 2013 09:27
The Science and Technology Studies department at UCL is delighted to announce a new Lectureship in Science Communication. The field of specialisation within science communication is open, but we have a strong preference for the convergence of two types of expertise. First, (1) science communication and public engagement in the sphere of science writing, and (2) science and technology studies as they relate to the natural sciences, as practiced at UCL. Expertise in communication theory, and journalism more generally, are additional essential elements for this post.
See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/vacancies for further information, including how to apply.
Deadline: 23rd April 2013
Contact: Simon Lock
Created on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:02
The judges for the 2013 ABSW Science Writers' Awards supported by Janssen Research and Development are:
Connie St Louis (Chair)
President, ABSW, Broadcast Journalist and Director, Science Journalism MA, City University
Editor, Research Fortnight and Research Europe
Freelance Journalist and Broadcaster
Broadcaster, Journalist, Science Communicator
Caroline van den Brul
Former change leader, award winning BBC television producer and Guardian research fellow from Nuffield College, Oxford
Executive Producer, Freelance
Head of Media Relations, The Royal Society
Founding Director, SciDev.net
Investigations Editor, BMJ
Freelance Science Journalist
Chief Online Editor, Nature
Director of External Affairs, Science Museum Group
Closing date for the Awards is Sunday 24th March at midnight. Shortlists will be announced in early June with the winners being announced at a Ceremony on Thursday 20th June at the Royal Society, London.
Created on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 15:30
The first issue of a new postgraduate publication 'The Looking Glass' was published by the Institute of Psychiatry in January this year. Described as 'a new postgraduate publication developed by students at the Institute of Psychiatry to inform, entertain and engage with those who have an interest in mental health education', the first issue contains an article on science writing as a career, to which members of the ABSW contributed.
The online version of the magazine can be found here:
Created on Monday, 04 March 2013 14:27
Institute of Physics press release PR14(13)
Thursday 28 February 2013
Winner of inaugural Physics Journalism Prize announced
Anil Ananthaswamy has won the inaugural Physics Journalism Prize – a prize designed to inspire the next generation of physicists by encouraging journalists to grapple with often complex topics and help spread excitement about the subject.
Anil has won the prize for his article Hip Hip Array, which focuses on the Square Kilometre Array, an international project to design and build the largest radio telescope ever conceived.
The prize is sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
Anil, a consultant at New Scientist Magazine and author of The Edge of Physics, will be congratulated today, Thursday 28 February 2013, at an IOP reception this evening in Central London, which follows this year’s Newton Lecture by the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees of Ludlow, entitled From Mars to the Multiverse.
Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of IOP, said, “Anil Ananthaswamy is being awarded the prize for writing a feature which brings one of the world’s most exciting astronomical endeavours to life – the Square Kilometre Array.
“I’m delighted that we’re able to honour his writing on this occasion, shortly after we hear from one of the UK’s leading astronomical luminaries.”
The Physics Journalism Award offers the prize of an expenses paid trip to Japan, to visit world-leading facilities carrying out research at the frontiers of physics.
On winning, Anil commented, "Writing about physics, especially about the work being done in remote, difficult and sometimes hostile environments, is a special pleasure. Winning an award for doing what I love to do is just icing on the cake. I truly appreciate the recognition."
With Anil the overall winner, judges were impressed by the range of entries made to the Award.
Zeeya Merali, a freelance science journalist based in Canterbury, has been given a special mention and a £250 prize for her Discover article, Gravity Off the Grid; an article about Julian Barbour, a British physicist who has spent his life arguing against Einstein’s view of gravity, space and time.
The judges – who were the Association of British Science Writers’ (ABSW) Martin Ince, the Wellcome Trust’s Mark Henderson, STEMNET’s Kirsten Bodley and the Science Media Centre’s Ed Sykes - commended both of the journalists for style, their ability to inspire and for bringing the physics that they write about to life.
ABSW director Martin Ince said, “The judges awarded the first prize and the commendation to two very different, but equally compelling, pieces of writing about physics. Both will have inspired and intrigued readers in the UK and around the world. The entries we received show that British science journalists can take on some of the most complex subjects in the universe and bring them to a wide audience.”
Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust and former Science Editor at The Times, said, "This was a strong field, but the winning and commended entries stood out both for style and substance. Zeeya Merali crafts great metaphors that help to make complicated science comprehensible for non-specialist audiences, while Anil Ananthaswamy has an eye for illustrative detail of which the best travel writers would be proud.”
Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive of STEMNET, said, “The winning article on the competition for the Square Kilometre Array will be particularly inspirational to young people, offering them an opportunity to see how fascinating contemporary physics research can be. This is close to STEMNET’s heart – it’s important to make science accessible and interesting for young people, to inspire the next generation of great British scientists and engineers.”
Commenting on the winner’s choice of topic, Terry O’Connor, Head of Communications at STFC, added, “The Square Kilometre Array will be one of the world’s largest and most complex science experiments, requiring physics input across the disciplines and at every stage of its design, construction and operation. It will open new avenues of research, and delve further back into the formation of the universe.
“With the SKA Project Office located in the UK at Jodrell Bank, and UK researchers and government heavily involved at every stage, we’re delighted that the winning article highlighted this fascinating and ambitious project.”
Anil’s article can be read on newscientist.com, free of charge but after a short registration, at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328576.800-outback-to-outer-space-the-worlds-largest-telescope.html
Zeeya’s article can be read on discovermagazine.com, free of charge athttp://discovermagazine.com/2012/mar/09-is-einsteins-greatest-work-wrong-didnt-go-far
Notes to Editors
2. IOP-STFC Physics Journalism AwardTo revisit the Terms and Conditions of the Award, please go to http://www.stfc.ac.uk/News%20and%20Events/39891.aspx
3. The Institute of PhysicsThe Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 45,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.
We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications. Visit us at www.iop.org
4. The Science and Technology Facilities CouncilThe Science and Technology Facilities Council is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security.
The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar.STFC operates or hosts world class experimental facilities including:
• in the UK; ISIS pulsed neutron source, the Central Laser Facility, and LOFAR. STFC is also the majority shareholder in Diamond Light Source Ltd
• overseas; telescopes on La Palma and Hawaii
It enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities by funding membership of international bodies including European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
STFC is one of seven publicly-funded research councils. It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).Follow us on Twitter @STFC_Matterswww.stfc.ac.uk
5. Association of British Science WritersFounded in 1947, the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) is the professional organisation for science writers in the UK. Its 800 members write everything from news stories to books and TV programmes. It runs the UK’s science journalism awards, holds the UK Conference of Science Journalists, and helps entrants to the profession to expand their skills. It is a leading member of the World Federation of Science Journalists and is involved in promoting science journalism in the developing world. More at http://www.absw.org.uk/.
Joe Winters, Head of Media Institute of Physics
76 Portland Place
London W1B 1NT
Direct tel: +44 (0) 20 7470 4815
Mobile: +44 (0) 7946 321473
Created on Friday, 18 January 2013 13:42
Dear potential ESOF 2014 contributor,
It is our great pleasure to announce that the call for proposals for the Euroscience Open Forum 2014 scientific programme is open as of today January 15, 2013. Please, learn more about the call for proposals.
The 2014 edition of ESOF will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 21-26, 2014 and is organised in collaboration between the Danish Ministry for Science, Innovation and Higher Education and the founder of ESOF, Euroscience.
The scientific programme of ESOF 2014 is highly prestigious and we expect numerous proposals. The call will close May 9, 2013, and we encourage you to put together an excellent proposal respecting the selection criteria.
ESOF 2014 Copenhagen also comprises the ambitious Science in the City programme that is organized in order to facilitate public dialogue, interaction and mutual responsiveness between scientific communities and society at large. If you want to take part in this dialogue and contribute with activities you can read more in the call for expression of interest.
Prof. Klaus Bock
Champion ESOF 2014
Prof. Gunnar Öquist,
Chair of the Programme Committee
Created on Sunday, 13 January 2013 11:46
Apply Now! – The Application Process for the First Heidelberg Laureate Forum Is Up and Running
Starting now, young researchers in the fields of mathematics and computer science can apply for the first Heidelberg Laureate Forum, which will take place from September 22 until 27, 2013. The application deadline is February 15, 2013.
The Klaus Tschira Stiftung invites students, PhD candidates and postdocs in the fields of mathematics and computer science from all over the world to apply online for the first Heidelberg Laureate Forum. Applicants will find all information on the application process and on the required material for an
application on the website www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org . Candidates who recently completed their PhD and show a strong interest in science are also encouraged to apply, even if they are now working in a non-scientific environment.
Online applications until February 15, 2013:http://www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/heidelberg-laureate-forum-2013/application
The final selection of the invitees will be made by the Scientific Committee supporting the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. Members of the Scientific Committee are representatives of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the Norwegian Academy for Science and Letters, amongst others. Successful applicants will be notified by April 15, 2013. Travel support will be provided for a limited number of young researchers.
The Heidelberg Laureate Forum offers the extraordinary opportunity to meet some of the pre-eminent scientists in mathematics and computer science to a select group of young researchers. During the week-long event, they will be able to get to know recipients of the most prestigious prizes for mathematics (Fields Medal and Abel Prize) and computer science (Turing Award).The Heidelberg Laureate Forum will take place from September 22 until 27, 2013 for the first time and will be held annually thereafter. Lectures and workshops offer plenty of opportunity for scientific exchange, while a rich variety of social events encourages the young researchers to engage in casual conversations with their scientific role models.
The Klaus Tschira Stiftung supports the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de
Heidelberg Laureate Forum contact:
Ruth Wetzlar, Yasmin Gürkan
Klaus Tschira Stiftung, Renate Ries
Application deadline is February 15, 2013.
The agreement about the establishment of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum was signed by the parties involved at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters on the 22nd of May 2012. More information:
Information Adviser, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Created on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 11:00
The differences between Uganda and the UK are stark but it’s the similarities that have stuck in my mind. I had my preconceptions of a war-torn and poverty-stricken country, mostly drawn from the media and charity campaigns. But as the recent Radi-Aid YouTube sensation demonstrates, this one-sided perspective on a whole continent is grossly mistaken.
As an early career science journalist I was invited to Kampala to be part of the second Ugandan Science Journalism Forum (USJF) as an ambassador for the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW). Around 50 delegates amassed in the conference hall to discuss the theme of energy – a controversial topic considering Uganda’s recent discovery of another one billion barrels of oil deposits in its borders.
Uganda derives almost all its energy needs from biomass, with demand for wood and charcoal growing an estimated 6% year on year. It took a meal to put this into perspective, cooked by our award-winning host Lominda using a traditional charcoal stove and a chicken that had been scratching the yard a few hours earlier.
Land usage is under enormous pressure, with more acreage being turned over for fuel production a food and water shortage is an imminent danger. Renewable solutions are needed but the culture of a nation almost entirely dependent on agriculture means their adoption is slow at the moment.
The Ugandans have the same concerns as Britons regarding climate change, only its impact has far greater implications on the landlocked country straddling the equator. An overwhelming majority of the population, nearly 90%, live rurally and rely on agriculture to make a living. This dependence is reflected in science coverage in the news; while items about Uganda in the UK science press focus on health, the Ugandans focus on breaking research in the plant world.
Caption: Dr Andrew Kiggundu runs the research into GM bananas at Kwanda Institute. The scientists are aiming for vitamin A and iron fortification, resistance to diseases such as Sikatoga disease or higher yields.
Dr Andrew Kiggundu studies the nation’s staple food at the Kwanda Research Institute in Kampala, which we visited on our first day. There doesn’t go a meal in Kampala without encountering a banana. Not the bright yellow, bestickered and frankly tasteless Cavendish that we see piled up in our supermarkets in the Western world but a wide variation on the theme; from the starchy matoke, steamed and mashed on every plate, to the sweet lady’s fingers banana, sold in bunches of ten (don’t try buying just one).
A fruit so integral to daily life in Uganda is being researched intensely by the country’s scientists. And for good reason. In the 1950s, a single disease wiped out the world dominant cultivar of banana, Gros Michel, forcing producers to switch to the now commonplace Cavendish. The world’s second largest producer of bananas can’t have another Panama Disease on their hands.
Kiggundu has been working on genetically modified cultivars since 2005 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. GM is seen as a necessity rather than a controversy in Uganda, but there are still no commercially grown crops in the country. Not that the locals know this – ask them their views on GM and they’ll tell you they’ve been eating it for years, not knowing the difference between conventional breeding and genetically modification.
The institute itself was remarkably similar to plant research sites in the UK; inside was the spit of Rothamsted or the John Innes. The difference only hit you when you walked outside into the 30 degree heat. I was hugging the shadows and glad to tuck into a plate brimming with food (bananas aplenty) under a mango tree. The best way to put your research into perspective.
From agriculture to aquaculture for our final field trip. The two most commonly eaten fish in Uganda are the tilapia and catfish, both farmed intensively along the country’s waterways. The National Fisheries Research Institute on the road to Jinja is in the process of developing food for aqua farmers to provide the best nutrition for these fish. In a set of ponds in the blistering heat, fish are fed, watered and measured on a weekly basis by a dedicated team – our guide, Joseph, had been at the Institute for 20 years.
Caption: Catfish and tilapia are hatched in the nursery and grown in consecutive pools. Fresh water is supplied to each pond by a gravity-driven irrigation system.
For the last four of those a group of Chinese researchers and business men have been responsible for running the organisation. Boasting two new buildings and a paved road, the Ugandan-Chinese self-styled friendship has driven research towards commercial prospects –perfecting growing conditions for ornamental fish is in the pipeline.
Back at the conference and the speakers were discussing the potential for commercial ventures in a global market and meeting the concerns of the local people. How can a villager be encouraged to farm sustainably with a variety of indigenous plants to maintain the lush ecosystem when they are being offered cash to crop biofuels?
Caption: Our host, Lominda Afedraru with her print award at the Ugandan Science Journalism Association
I’ve developed an important perspective on reporting from and on a developing country – needs and interests have to be relevant to the readership and what may be a priority in UK science reporting can be trivial to a Ugandan. One thing it seems all journalists have in common is discussing matters over food and a local liquor – a gin in Kampala. Made from bananas.
Harriet Bailey is the newest researcher for 'earthrise', Al Jazeera's environment programme, investigating solutions to environmental challenges around the world. She has just graduated with an MA in Science Journalism after earning a BSc in pure mathematics – though she managed blogs, interviewed scientists and created graphics even as a student. She previously interned at the Science Media Centre and Lion TV Productions.
For a more detailed report on the Ugandan Science Journalists Forum and their associated Science Journalism Awards see here http://www.wfsj.org/news/news.php?id=295
Background to the ABSW funded visit:
The ABSW is twinned with the Ugandan Science Journalists Association (USJA) through a scheme coordinated by the World Federation of Science Journalists.
To further develop relationships between the ABSW and USJA, the ABSW funded the visit of a Ugandan science journalist for the UKCSJ 2012; subsequent to this visit the ABSW funded two early-career science journalists to visit Uganda and take part in the USJA annual forum, 15–16 November in Kampala.
Created on Saturday, 08 December 2012 10:30
Access to Understanding is a new science-writing competition for PhD students and early career researchers with an interest in communicating science to the public.
Join a generation of biomedical and health researchers who recognise the importance of opening up the results of scientific research, so that they are truly accessible to everyone.
A scientific journal article may be the established way to describe your science to other researchers, but is this the best way to explain scientific findings to the public? If you’re confident that you can write about the complicated scientific terms and concepts in a research article in a way that anyone can easily understand, this could be the competition for you!
Using no more than 800 words, we want you to pick one article from the list provided and explain the research and why it matters to a non-scientific audience.
Closing Date: 11th January 2013 (5pm)
Link for full details is below: