Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Access to Understanding competition winners announced

We were delighted to announce the winners of the Access to Understanding science-writing competition at an awards ceremony held last night (11 March) at The British Library in London.


Entrants to the competition were challenged to summarise a cutting-edge research article, communicating in a simple and accessible way what the research is, and why it matters, to an interested, non-specialist audience.

The overall winner, Emma Pewsey, a PhD student in material sciences at the University of Cambridge, was selected from among 400 entries from around the world for her entry, 'Hip, hip, hooray!', explaining research that investigated the causes of hip fracture in the elderly.
Claire Sand, King's College London, and Ian Le Guillou, also University of Cambridge, were jointly awarded second place for their entries 'Blood vessels from skin: the new frontier in tissue engineering', and 'Another brick in the wall', respectively.
                                  From left to right: Ian Le Guillou, Emma Pewsey, Claire Sand
A further six entries were commended by the judging panel, spanning basic through to clinical science, and including complex papers on stem cells, cancer and genetics. The short-listed and winning entries can all be seen here. The original articles are all freely available from Europe PMC.

The Access to Understanding competition aims to raise awareness amongst researchers of the increasing importance to the general public of being able to understand the outcomes of research which they pay for. Furthermore, it seeks to break down the barriers that highly technical research language presents to enabling understanding of research and encourages PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers to develop their communications skills.
Coming up: guest blog posts from Ian, Emma and Claire, and a round-up of some of the fascinating discussions from the awards ceremony. Here and on the competition pages.

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