Nominations are open for the annual John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science. The award recognises an individual who has promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest.
Last year saw more than 100 members of the scientific community gather at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to congratulate Professor David Nutt. The former UK government chief drugs adviser was awarded the international prize as recognition for his courage in promoting science and evidence, despite facing difficulty of hostility in doing so.
The prize, now in its third year, is a joint initiative of Nature, the Kohn Foundation, and the charity Sense About Science. Sir John Maddox, former editor of Nature for 22 years, whose name the prize commemorates, was a passionate and tireless champion and defender of science, engaging with difficult debates and inspiring others to do the same.
On winning the award in 2013, Professor Nutt, said: “Science is arguably the defining characteristic of humanity. It therefore is imperative that scientists play their full role in all aspects of human life. Being awarded this prize gives me the confidence to continue to do what’s right, and hopefully will inspire others to follow suit.”
The global prize is open to nominations for any kind of public activity, including all forms of writing, speaking and public engagement, in any of the following areas:
- Addressing misleading information about scientific or medical issues in any forum.
- Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
- Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.
Professor Nutt followed on from both Professor Simon Wessely and Shi-min Fang, who were the two winners of the inaugural £2,000 prize in 2012.
For full criteria and nomination details, see Sense About Science’s award run-down. Nominations close 11.59pm on August 20 2014 BST and the winner will be presented with the award in October 2014. Follow or tweet on the hashtag #MaddoxPrize