Posts Tagged ‘prizes’

photo of wavesThe Wavewatcher’s Companion by Gavin Pretor-Pinney has just been named the winner of the 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

Richard Holmes, Chair of the judges: “The Wavewatcher’s Companion used relatively straight-forward science to transform our perspective on the world around us, both visible and invisible, in a completely radical way.  From Mexican waves to electro-magnetic waves, it gave us a new delight and fascination in our immediate surroundings. We were inspired to see waves everywhere, and we were given an almost poetic vision of a dynamic universe.  It is a book of old-fashioned charm and wit, provocatively organized and illustrated, and marvellously deft with its presentation of hard modern science.  In short, it is a delightful winner.”

This book, along with all the other nominees, is available for loan from UWS Library.


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Photograph of an open bookThe Royal Society run a competition to find the year’s best popular science books.  The nominees for this year’s Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books are now available from the Library.  Which one would you choose as the winner?

  • Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos

The judges said: “A playful book that joyously takes us all by the hand on a grown-up trip through the world of mathematics” [Borrow from UWS Library]

  • Here on Earth: A new beginning by Tim Flannery

The judges said: “Depicting the Earth as a superorganism of which we are just a part, the author uses his optimistic, experienced voice to unravel the natural history of our world and ourselves.” [Borrow from UWS Library]

  • Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample

The judges said: “An exciting adventure through the world of the biggest subject in physics: the Higgs boson.” [Borrow from UWS Library]


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The James Dyson Award 2011 is now open (closing date 2nd August).

The brief is straightforward: “Design something that solves a problem”.  The award is open to product design, industrial design and engineering university level students (or graduates within 4 years of graduation), and the main prize is £10,000 for you and £10,000 for your university.  Previous finalists have included a design to adapt domestic kitchen taps to produce a water mist when fires are detected and a device to allow wheelchairs to be steered by head movement alone.

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“Young Researchers Improving Lives Competition

Glasgow City of Science, in partnership with the Glasgow Science Festival, is launching a new competition for early career researchers working in industry and academia in the West of Scotland. Entrants will showcase their research emphasising how it impacts on improving lives across Scotland and beyond. There will two prizes of £500 – one for PhD students/first post docs based in academia and the other for early career researchers from companies with a West of Scotland base. All candidates should have no more than 5 years research experience.

Entrants will be asked to submit a 100 word outline of their research, written in layman’s language, explaining “how it will improve lives”. They should also include one image relevant to their research and a personal photograph. A selection panel will short list 5 entrants in each category and winners will be chosen by panels of P6 and P7 children in schools across Glasgow.

Entry forms are now available on the websites of Glasgow City of Science www.glasgowcityofscience.com and Glasgow Science Festival www.glasgowsciencefestival.org.uk.  The closing date for entries is May 2, 2011.”

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The Wellcome Trust, the Guardian and The Observer have launched a competition for science journalism.  The competition is open to everyone who is not a professional writer.

“We want to identify some of the best writing about the remarkable ideas and stories emerging from the world’s laboratories, field trips and research journals … You might be a new PhD student laying out your research ideas, a seasoned blogger who writes about science in his spare time, or a professor of biology discussing a new idea in her field. You might be none of the above and, instead, someone who just looks at the world in wonder and wants to write about what you see.”

Thirty short-listed entrants will be invited to take part in a science writing workshop, and the winning articles (one by a professional scientist and one by a writer who isn’t a professional scientist) will be published in the Guardian or The Observer.  The winners will also receive £1000.

Competition details can be found on the Wellcome Trust’s website.  The closing date is 30th May.

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life ascending book coverLife ascending: the ten great inventions of evolution [Borrow from UWS Library] has been named as the winner of the prestigious Royal Society Prize for Science Books.  Nick Lane’s book uses modern scientific discoveries to explain “inventions of evolution” such as DNA, sight and consciousness.

The longlist consisted of:

All of this year’s nominees have been purchased by the UWS library, and descriptions of these books can be found on the Royal Society’s website.

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The winners of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes have just been announced.  The Ig Nobel prizes reward achievements that “make people laugh then make them think”.

Winners included:

Rietveld, S. and van Beest, I. (2007) Rollercoaster asthma: When postive emotional stress interferes with dyspnea perception. Behaviour Research and Therapy. [Online] Vol.45(5), pp.977-987. Available: ScienceDirect [1 October 2010]    [Athens account required off campus]

Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Rocha-Gosselin, A. and Gendron, D. (2010) A novel non-invasive tool for disease surveillance of free-ranging whales and its relevance to conservation programs. Animal Conservation. [Online] Vol.13(2), pp.217-225. Available: Wiley Online Library [1 October 2010]    [Athens account required off campus]

Barbeito, M., Mathews, C. and Taylor, L (1967) Microbiological laboratory hazard of bearded men. Applied Microbiology. [Online] Vol.15(4), pp.899-906. Available: PubMed [1 October 2010]

Comment below if you think you’ve found any potential Ig Nobel winners.  I’d nominate “Accuracy of comparing bone quality to chocolate bars for patient information purposes: observational study“, which investigates whether Aeros and Crunchies are accurate metaphors for bone structure!

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