UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science

An international distinction awarding outstanding contributions of individuals in communicating science to society and promoting the popularization of science

© UNESCO/N. Burke
Each UNESCO Kalinga Prize-winner is awarded the UNESCO Albert Einstein silver medal

By bridging the gap between science and society the benefits of scientific knowledge can be used to improve daily lives, empower people and find solutions to global, regional and local challenges. In order to strengthen communication between science and society it is important that efforts made in bridging the gap do not go unnoticed. Popularizing science needs to be championed, including all activities that communicate scientific knowledge and scientific methods to the public outside the formal classroom setting and promote public understanding of the history of science.

The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an international award to reward exceptional contributions made by individuals in communicating science to society and promoting the popularization of science. It is awarded to persons who have had a distinguished career as writer, editor, lecturer, radio or television programme director, or film producer in helping interpret science, research and technology to the public. UNESCO Kalinga Prize winners know the potential power of science and technology in improving public welfare, enriching the cultural heritage of nations and providing solutions to societal problems on the local, regional and global level.

2015 Prize-winner

In 2015 the Prize was awarded to Argentinian scientist Diego Andrés Golombek in recognition of his tireless contribution to science communication and education in diverse and entertaining formats, notably for his role in the development of Argentina’s first Science Cultural Centre.

Many past Prize winners have been scientists in their own right, while others have been trained in journalism or have been educators or writers. Some have also been Nobel Prize winners. Previous laureates include Sir Julian Huxley, Margaret Mead and Sir David Attenborough.

The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is UNESCO’s oldest prize, created in 1951 following a donation from Mr Bijoyanand Patnaik, Founder and President of the Kalinga Foundation Trust in India. Today, the Prize is funded by the Kalinga Foundation Trust, the Government of the State of Orissa, India, and the Government of India (Department of Science and Technology).

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