“Science-me a story 2019” awards ceremony held in Manchester


  • The ‘Science-me a story’ contest, organised by the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU), has awarded eight short scientific stories in this year’s edition.
  • This initiative, sponsored by the Lilly Foundation and supported by Principia and the University of Liverpool, aims to promote the use of short stories as a tool to engage children with science.
  • Hertfordshire born  content writer Alice Hutchins and Colombian psychologist Sonia Castellanos win the first prizes with the short stories for kids “The Nodes of Ranvier” and “The discoveries of Melí”, respectively.

Manchester, 11th November 2019. The Instituto Cervantes in Manchester held today the Awards ceremony for this year’s edition of the contest “Science me a story 2019”. This initiative, organized by the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) in collaboration with Lilly Foundation, the University of Liverpool and Principia magazine, aims to promote children’s interest in science by using short stories with scientific-related content.

From left to rigth, Isabel Peset, iniciative organizer, Nicole Pearson, Nicky Purser, English winners and Laura Laura Ibañez-Tejero, Spanish winner

Short stories, a familiar format for children, represent a strong tool to inspire them, to increase their curiosity about the world and to help them develop a critical way of thinking. More than 150 stories have participated in the second edition of the contest, presented both in English and Spanish.

Within the English Category, the inspiring stories “The Nodes of Ranvier” by Alice Hutchins (Essex-based content writer), “The good inside us all” by Nicholas Edward IIott (Research Scientist at the University of Oxford), “As though as the dinosaurs” by Nicky Purser (Australian veterinary surgeon) and “Nanuq” by Nicole Pearson (Community project worker) won the first, two second and third prizes, respectively. Prizes for stories in Spanish went to Sonia Castellanos (Colombian psychologist) for “The discoveries of Melí”, “The secret of silver jackets” by Magdalena I. Domper (Cardiff-based psychologist) and a third shared position for “Copep-sea and the green balloon” by Laura Ibañez-Tejero (Marine Scientist) and “Science of princesses” by Leticia Labat de Hoz  (PhD student in molecular sciences).

As part of the prize, the winner stories within the Spanish category will be published in Principia Magazine and the stories within the English category will be published by the University of Liverpool Literature and Science Hub.

In Hutchins’ words, one of the first prize award winners, “I love the idea of introducing concepts to children, at a young age is when we can make the most difference in how children see the world. Winning the ‘Science me a Story’ competition has been great for me as a writer because it feels like the first step towards the writing career I’ve always dreamt of and I would love to participate in more of these type of contests in the future”.

In the words of María Pin Nó, one of the organizers of this contest, “we are very happy with the reception of the second edition of ‘Science-me a story’. This year the amount of participants has triplicated in both the English and Spanish categories and we have received stories covering different fields in science: Alzheimer’s disease, climate change, pollution by microplastics… The level was very high. We are also glad to announce that ‘Science-me a story’ has been selected as a finalist in the second edition of Falling Walls Engage (Berlin, Germany), an international meeting for all forms of science engagement”.

In José Antonio Sacristán, director of the Fundación Lilly words: “When entities, professionals and different agents of the scientific community paddle in the same direction, we fulfill a common objective: arouse curiosity and bring science closer to society without any bias. ‘Give me a story’ is a clear example of this. From the Lilly Foundation we are very proud to support and participate in this project aimed at promoting scientific knowledge and the promotion of Spanish as a language for communication and dissemination”.