International outreach project IAU100 awarded with Dutch Communication Award
The international astronomy outreach project IAU100 has won the first Communication Award by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The initiative was founded by Leiden team manager Pedro Russo and team members Jorge Rivero González, Bethany Downer, Lina Canas and Marieke Baan.
100 years IAU
For the centenary of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2019, activities and projects have been organised worldwide – including in the Netherlands – to promote the importance of astronomy. An estimated 100 million people have been reached through more than 5,000 activities in 143 countries. The jury is impressed by the reach and inclusiveness of the initiatives. The initiators of IAU100 explicitly focused on diversity and countries where scientific knowledge reaches people more difficultly.
Wonders of the Universe
All activities of IAU100 were coordinated by the IAU Secretariat of the Leiden Astronomy & Society group and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). Pedro Russo, Astronomy & Society group leader, says: ‘We are proud of this award not only for recognising the communication initiatives done by thousands of individuals around the world but also for recognising the efforts of Leiden Observatory to engage the public in the wonders of the Universe.’
The Communication Award, announced this week, goes to three collaborations working in the field of science communication. Besides IAU100, these are Muurformules, of which Leiden professor Sense Jan van der Molen is a member, and DondersWonders. According to the jury, all teams have been able to reach a wide audience with their projects in an innovative way. Each project will receive 10,000 euros, intended for science communication.
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This week, the NWO Domain Science (ENW) presented five new Science Awards, including the Communication Award. The winners are seen by the jury as an inspiration in the fields of social impact, team science, role model, diversity and communication. The awards were created to reward researchers working in these fields and to inspire others to do the same. The eleven winners will receive a total of 350,000 euros in prize money.