Nordic scientists nominated for prestigious European award

What‘s the best way to explain advanced mathematics or deep sea ecosystems? How can the gap between science and society be bridged? Excellence in answering such questions has led to five Nordic nominations for the Descartes Prize for Science Communication.
The Nordic countries have proven particularly strong in the category “Innovative action for science communication”, with three Nordic nominees – one Norwegian, one Swedish and one Danish project - among a total of 12 contestants. The Norwegian project MAR-ECO, is a network of scientists, students and dissemination associates which aims to popularise international scientific investigation at sea. The Swedish nominee is an annual two-week international science festival in Göteborg aspiring to bring science to the public and provide a forum for researchers to meet and discuss topics within the field of science in society. Along the same lines, Danish Science Café has created a public forum for interdisciplinary debate on scientific issues. The events are held at a café, with genuine face-to-face dialogues and lively discussions on current scientific issues between prominent experts and the lay audience, facilitated by a moderator.

Finnish mathematician Osmo Pekkonen has been nominated in the category “professional scientists engaged in science communication to the public” for his efforts to popularise advances in mathematical sciences, while the Swedish science magazine “Forskning & Framsteg”, has been nominated in the category “popularising science through the written word”.

In total, 33 European projects have been nominated for the prize. From these, 5 winners will be selected to share this year‘s €275,000 prize. The winners will be announced on 7 March 2007 at a ceremony in Brussels. The competition is open to individuals and organisations that have achieved outstanding results in science communication, and have won prizes from European and/or national organisations. Its key objective is to stimulate public interest in science, and to reward key initiatives in that field.