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Lifting the lid on science – Nature Awards launches new competition to improve scientific awareness

Science plays a vital role in our society – yet more often than not, its true impact and value can be hard to communicate, see or understand. Distilling complex theories, data and experiments, into easily accessible points is challenging.

Science in Shorts, a new competition from Nature Awards and Springer Nature in partnership with Merck KGaA, encourages scientists to enhance the accessibility of their research through short, creative videos that highlight the importance of their work and engage the public with science.

Richard Hughes, VP Publishing, Nature said:

“Science communication is notoriously challenging, but increasingly important. With this competition we are looking to bridge the gap between science and the wider public, and encourage scientists to share their research in an accurate and accessible way that resonates with a wider audience.”

On engaging the public, Hughes added:

“The audience for these videos is everyone. By creating engaging, one minute videos that can be shared and repurposed across multiple channels we hope Science in Shorts can kick start conversations around the role of science in society, the story behind the research, why it matters and the impact on all our lives it can have. We also want to have some fun.”

Designed to break down the walls around science and capture the attention of the public, applicants* are asked to produce a 60 second video to present their research in any way they see fit – the more engaging and creative the better. A shortlist of ten of the best entries will be chosen in July 2022, with each of those shortlisted receiving a prize of €5,000. Each of these videos will be made available on and on YouTube. The shortlist will be determined by a multidisciplinary team of editors, reporters, filmmakers, researchers and communications specialists from across the Nature Portfolio. A public vote will be held to determine the ‘People’s Choice’ winner from amongst the final shortlist.

Ulrich Betz, Vice President of Innovation for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany said:

“The announcement of the finalists of the Science in Shorts campaign will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Curious2022 Future Insight Conference – United by science for a better tomorrow – underlining the importance of science communication.”

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is committed to working with the scientific community to support researchers in the communication, accessibility and visibility of their work. Through its suite of awards, including Science in Shorts, it looks to extend this commitment by providing platforms to support researchers in communicating the impact of their research, and extending the evidence based approach that drives change forwards. More on the publisher’s commitment to this can be found here.

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