- The contest, organised by the Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK/CERU), has awarded six short scientific stories in its first edition.
- Londoner digital producer Anthony Lewis and Dr. Esther Martí Sentañes win the first prizes with the stories “Normal Jenny” and “María and the lost Codex”, respectively.
- This initiative, sponsored by the Lilly Foundation, aims to promote the use of short stories as a tool to communicate science for children.
Manchester, 6th of October 2018. The Instituto Cervantes in Manchester held today the Awards ceremony of “Science me a story” contest. 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 use short stories as a tool to promote children´s interest in science.
Using short stories, a familiar format for children, a strong tool to inspire them, increase their curiosity about the world and to let them develop their scientific critical thinking. More than 50 stories have participated in the first edition of the contest Science-me a Story, presented both in English and Spanish.
The inspiring stories “Normal Jenny” by Anthony Lewis (London-based digital producer and biologist), “The Banyan Tree” by Eleanor Palmer (third year medical student at the University of Manchester) or “A Reef to Call Home” by Asiem Sanyal (marine biologist) won first, second and third prizes, respectively, in the English category. Prizes for stories in Spanish went to Esther Martí for “María and the Lost Codex”, “A sister for the cell Celia” by Ana Isabel Rodríguez Rodríguez (PhD student at the University of Edinburgh) and a third shared position for “The stars fall” by Consuelo Cid Tortuero, lecturer at the University of Alcala and “¡Hello, Mrs. E. coli!” by Isabel Murillo Cabeza, lecturer at the University of Bristol.
As part of the prize, the winner stories will be published in Principia Magazine (Spanish category) and the University of Liverpool Literature and Science Hub (English category).
In Lewis words, “literature can absolutely bring children closer to science. Science has some absolutely amazing true stories, but sometimes a bit of imagination and creativity can bring reality to life. Writing this story for the competition was a great springboard. I’d wanted to experiment with short stories to communicate science for a while, and this was just the nudge I needed”.
In the words of Isabel Peset, one of the organizers of this contest, “we are very happy with the reception that Science-me a story contest has had. We are very surprised and excited about the high number of participants who sent their stories to this first edition”.
José Antonio Sacristán, director of the Lilly Foundation, has stated that “for the Lilly Foundation, it has been a privilege to participate in an initiative like Science-me a story, which totally aligns with our objectives of promoting scientific culture in society. Introducing scientists to children in their stories can help modify many of the current prejudices about research”.
Finally, both organizers and participants agree that Science-me a story is a successful meeting point between science and literature and a perfect tool to promote scientific culture in children.