Award ceremonies for the scientific contests “Science-me a Story” and “Investigación En Foco”

  • The Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK/CERU) keeps its scientific outreach going despite the pandemic.
  • A total of six stories, three in English and three in Spanish, have been awarded in the SRUK/CERU contest Science-me a Story. This initiative, thanks to the collaboration of Fundación Lilly and the support of Principia and the University of Liverpool, has been able to show, one more year, how these stories can inspire and encourage kids to fall in love with science.
  • In its I edition, the photography contest Investigación En Foco has awarded the authors of 4 pictures that have managed to make the public and the jury members fall in love with the way the are able to illustrate the beauty of research. This initiative has had the collaboration of Fundación Ramón Areces and the Spanish embassy in London.

London, 6th of January 2021. The Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK/CERU), despite the hard times we have been going through with the COVID-19 pandemic, has kept promoting scientific outreach with different initiatives such as the contest Science-me a Story

For the III edition of this scientific contest, more than 130 stories in English and 106 in Spanish have been received. These numbers show how the number of participants is three times larger than in the second edition; it has even quadrupled in comparison to the first! In addition, these stories have been written by participants from 43 countries across the globe. Thanks to the collaboration of Fundación Lilly and the support of Principia and the University of Liverpool, this SRUK/CERU initiative has been able to take place one more year, thus spreading the use of scientific stories to promote the interest in science among the next generation that will build our future. 

In the English category, the first prize has been awarded to Alexandra Gurzau (physician) for her inspiring story “War”. The second prize has gone to Hayley Down (writer of baby stories) for her story “A pop and a pong” and Olivia Brinkley-Green (family worker) has been awarded with the third prize for “I wonder…”.  

In the Spanish edition, the inspiring stories “Doctora, ¿qué le pasa a mi elefanta?” by Marta Renato, “El nuevo mundo de Sofía” by Jesús Victorino (PhD student), and “Los caballeros de la mesa viruela” by Paula Mariel (social communicator) have been awarded with the first, second, and third prize; respectively. 

According to María Pin Nó, event co-organiser, “we are delighted with the interest shown for this initiative, which grows year by year. This is a contest in which people all over the world can take part in, and it is not restricted to a specific topic. Therefore, the stories that we receive give a great overview of what science, research, and general knowledge are. In addition, as we had expected, we have received many stories talking about vaccines, viruses, and viral diseases. We hope that children can use them to better understand what is currently going on in the world.”.

On the other hand, the I edition SRUK/CERU photography contest Investigación en Foco has taken place, with the collaboration of Fundación Ramón Areces and the Spanish embassy in London. This initiative aims to the art of photography to highlight the importance and the beauty of everyday research, thus making it possible to reach  a wider and non-scientific audience. In addition, Investigación en Foco has given a unique opportunity to SRUK/CERU researchers to share their work using different tools and a totally different format. 

Awarded pictures in the Investigación en Foco contest. (1) Lively Cytoskeleton. Beatriz Castejón Vega. Winner of the category “Technique and quality”. (2) ¡I do not want to die! Pilar Acedo Núñez. Winner of the category “Outreach potential”. (3) Inspire. Paula Rodríguez Villamor. Winner of the category “Originality and artistic”. 4) Hidden diversity. Pablo Muñoz Rodríguez. Winner of the category “best picture chosen by the SRUK/CERU members”.

In this edition, there has been a total of 25 contestants who have taken part in the contest with a great variety of pictures, all of them of great quality and capturing the essence of of their research. There has been four awardees, one for each of the contest categories in which the following features were judged: originality and artistic, technique and quality, outreach potential, and best picture voted by the SRUK/CERU members. The awardees in these four categories have respectively been Paula Rodríguez Villamayor, Beatriz Castejón Vega, Pilar Acedo Núñez and Pablo Muñoz Rodríguez. “Choose a picture that can summarise my research has been quite hard, ¡there is a whole world to observe under the microscope! Besides, you do not always have a chance to capture your cells in a “beautiful” picture… Science is in need of good pictures that can show a general audience what research is and how it is done: this is when science meets art!”, Beatriz has said. 

Joan, one of the members of the organising committee, has added that “this first edition of Investigación en Foco has been a success. We have seen how the contestants have shown their abilities to use their pictures for scientific outreach, thus giving us a unique opportunity to better know what they do in their everyday research using an appealing format. We are looking forward to preparing the second edition!”.