Nominations open today, 9 March
The John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science is a global prize: people from any country and in any field can be nominated. It is awarded to an individual for any kind of public activity in any of the areas listed below:
There is one winner, who will receive £3000. An additional award is made to someone who in the opinion of the judges is at an early stage of their career.
In 2019 there were over 200 nominations from 38 countries.
Read about all past winners.
Please also share notice about the prize with your colleagues, friends, and families.
Nominations close at 11:59am (GMT) on 11 May.
The Cambodian Ministry of Education and the NGO Room to Read are working together in a pilot programme to encourage students to become more engaged in science.
In the first instance, Room to Read Cambodia obtained permission to translate Scholastic’s popular Q&A (Questions and Answers) series into the Khmer language. Local businesses printed 480,000 copies which were distributed to partner schools. Each package included guidelines on how to use the books in the classroom and as supplementary reading materials. However, Room to Read’s Research, Monitoring & Evaluation team found that only 17% of students remembered reading any of them. Fostering students’ curiosity about science in rural areas like Phoum Khmer required more than good books.
Room to Read “decided to pilot two interventions in Kampong Thom Province. In the first, librarians in four schools read two related science books to students during library period. The librarians were trained to spark students’ curiosity and keep them engaged with questions before and during the reading. In the second intervention, four fifth grade teachers from the remaining schools conducted in class research activities based on the science books. Students were also asked to come up with their own research questions related to what they had read.
At the end of the 12-week pilot, 62% of students in the teacher-based intervention liked or remembered the science books compared with 40% of students in the librarian-based intervention. But what wowed the team is that students from the first intervention has started going to the library to read the science books on their own, even borrowing them to read to their families.”
Working with Big Ideas of Science Education authored by Wynne Harlen of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) was a publication that first appeared in 2010 and was revised in 2015. It sets out 10 big ideas of science (e.g. ‘All matter in the Universe is made of very small particles’), and four ideas about science (e.g. ‘Scientific explanations, theories and models are those that best fit the evidence available at a particular time’). For each of these big ideas the progression in development is described in terms of a narrative; a story of how small ideas build into bigger ones.
The volume goes on to discuss the implications for the selection of content, pedagogy, student assessment and teacher education of putting the principles and big ideas into practice.
Free to download versions are already available in Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Italian, Serbian and Spanish. All of the translations including the new one for Russia (19 February 2020) can be accessed from the IAP website.
The newly opened NaDEET Urban Sustainability Centre aims to challenge assumptions about the impact of lifestyle choices and to offer ideas to finding suitable everyday solutions to environmental problems.
As with NaDEET's other projects, the Urban Centre is designed to showcase low-cost solutions towards adapting or changing attitudes and daily actions. Housed in an old warehouse building in the town of Swakopmund, the facility and its surrounding unique natural habitats, are utilised as an "outdoor classroom" through practical, hands-on environmental learning that is fun and relevant to all ages.
The Centre has several educational hands-on display areas, a small classroom and an environmental library.
The Environmental Discovery Area
A day visitor's experience begins in the environmental discovery area. Here a mural depicts Namibia's beautiful environment whilst showing the threats the country faces resulting from human activities and unsustainable development. It also gives a background to the demographics of the country and its position in a global context.
The Eco- House
Designed to be a model house to demonstrate how sustainable living can be applied on a household level in Namibia. Set up as an open plan house it has five main "rooms" including the entrance way, kitchen, living room, laundry and bathroom. By exploring the house, visitors can find environmental tips and conduct activities in the different rooms. Visitors will discover how this “Eco-House family” is practicing energy and water efficiency, using alternative resources and managing the household waste.
The Centre also provides a copy of Nambia’s Resources Relief Map showing the country's resources regarding biodiversity, energy and water, provides semi-guided educational tours and a range of more formalised environmental education programmes.
The Promotion of Conservation Agriculture (PROMAC II) project in Mozambique recognised that adult literacy and numeracy were fundamental skills for market participation and have found that it is equally as important to incorporate nutrition literacy activities into the programme.
To address literacy rates amongst smallholder producers, which tend to be low, especially among women, basic skills training is being provided through existing and new centres for adult literacy; located in rural communities, women and men are learning the basic skills to communicate in Portuguese. The centres also provide a platform to disseminate nutrition messages including infant and young child feeding practices and the importance of diet diversity and food safety.
More recently, nutrition messaging has been incorporated into Farmer Field Days, developing educational radio spots in coordination with the local Community Radio and partnering with the Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) to hold cooking demonstrations that focus on local ingredients and target crops like soybeans. Participants have learnt how to make nutrient-rich porridges, soy beverages and incorporate soy flour into baking. The PROMAC II staff are sharing their nutrition activities widely through local events such as a technology fair held at the Chimoio campus of the Catholic University of Mozambique.
Co-created by Children for Health, Save the Children team in the DRC and with a group of teachers as part of a broader programme to promote community participation.
Similar to Children for Health’s other charts and posters, including Children’s Participation in Action and Learning for Nutrition, this new poster visualises the actions that children can take to understand 12 key messages on Diarrhoea. It illustrates the support that programmes like this need and shows the impact that these simple health practices can have on the health of a community. The two-sided poster sets out the 12 messages on the back and gives ideas on things children can do to spread the messages and helps promote the health for themselves, family and friends.
Children for Health welcome your written feedback and if you would like them to make more posters, please send images of their posters being used in your workplace, which helps a LOT to attract funding for posters on other topics.
The UNESCO Office in Abuja and the Association of Communication Scholars & Professional of Nigeria have developed some innovative resources to assist media and information literacy:
Details of the Global Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) Week 2020 will be announced as soon as they become finalised.
Media and Information Literacy as a tool for development is now recognized by countries around the world. For nine years, UNESCO and many partners have been promoting awareness about media and information literacy (MIL) through Global MIL Week. On 25 November 2019, one hundred and ninety-three countries unanimously proclaimed Global MIL Week as official at the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference.
This proclamation came on the heels of Global MIL Week 2019, which saw over 200 celebratory events in over 100 countries.
Follow news for events in 2020 on Twitter: UNESCO MILCLICKS - @MILCLICKS
‘MIRA Theatre’ is a digital resource center with a Smart-TV powered by Solar. Developed by ZMQ, a Technology for Development Social Enterprise organisation based in India in collaboration with the Philips Foundation, this most recent MIRA project was launched in November 2019.
It addresses the knowledge gap in childhood pneumonia through a series of short digital stories embedded in the larger ‘Maternal & Child Health’ mobile-based platform called MIRA*.
It has created a new genre of storytelling called ‘Talking Comics’ to affect healthy behaviours for rural women with lesser literacy. The programme has created 6 digital stories created in local language and local context which are designed to create awareness on childhood pneumonia, identifying danger signs, prevention (through immunization using pneumococcal conjugate vaccine), treatment and care & support. The programme also supports identifying danger signs & monitoring and generating demand for treatment and support.
MIRA Theater moves from village to village and showcases the stories. The film shows are followed by focus group discussions (FGDs). MIRA Theaters have an average daily footfall of 150-250 women.
*MIRA provides timely information to women about pregnancy-dietary information, medical care, dons and dons thus increasing awareness during pregnancy. It connects women with health services for timely delivery. It supports women to go for regular ante-natal check-ups, taking Iron-Folic acid, timely vaccination and encourage women to go for institutional deliveries. MIRA helps in adopting safer behaviours, and overall reducing maternal and infant mortality rates.
Additional featured MIRA Videos