Public Engagement Prize
The Babraham Institute's Public Engagement Prize recognises an individual or team who have contributed to the Institute's public engagement and science communication activities, demonstrating their passion for science and enthusiasm and commitment to inspiring generations.
This year’s joint winners are Claire Harwell and Simon Rudge who both work in the Institute’s Signalling research programme. They received their prize from Institute Director Michael Wakelam.
Claire, a PhD student in the Coleman Lab was recognised for her enthusiasm and dedication to engaging a wide variety of audiences. Even before joining Babraham as a summer student in 2012 she published a Science in Society Review in the Cambridge Triple Helix journal on ‘locked-in syndrome’. Since joining the Institute as a PhD student in 2013 she has engaged in a wide range of science communication activities, including tireless work for Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK), Cambridge Science Festival, schools and undergraduate supervisions.
Dr Simon Rudge, a Senior Researcher in the Wakelam Lab was acknowledged in recognition of his efforts in setting up the Babraham Institute’s Protein Challenge project for and with the University Technical College (UTC link) Cambridge. Simon has been instrumental in converting a one-day outreach activity into an 8-week challenge project for 14-16 year old students and dedicated a significant proportion of his time to ensure that the project was delivered successfully.
Speaking about her award, Claire said “I am very pleased to have been given this award - it was very unexpected!”. Simon was equally modest when talking about the UTC project, “I enjoyed designing the project and working with the UTC staff and students this year. I never imagined I would be nominated, never mind win this award!”.
The Public Engagement prize entries were judged by public engagement specialists from the BBSRC and Cambridge University who praised the Babraham Institute not only for the winning candidates but also for the number of quality nominations. One judge commented “Overall a good collection of applications and quite hard to compare and rank them”.
The Public Engagement prize is awarded alongside the Michael Berridge Science Prize and the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation prize. The prizes were introduced as part of the Excellence with Impact programme at the Babraham Institute.