The Descartes Prize for Research, which exists since 2000, was complemented with a new Descartes Prize for Science Communication in 2004.
By means of this new prize, the European Commission intends:
· To stimulate interest and careers in science communication.
· To improve the quality of science communication with the public.
2005 winners :
- Carl Johan Sundberg from Sweden, for his lifelong enthusiasm for explaining science in a clear, understandable way;
- Anja C. Andersen the young astrophysicist from the Dark Cosmology Center, Copenhagen University for her exceptional gift for presenting the complexities of science to a popular audience;
- Jos Van Hemelrijck from VRT Television, Belgium, for producing “Overleven”, an innovative science TV series which follows the work and personalities of scientists as they solve key scientific enigmas;
- the author Bill Bryson for his highly inspiring, innovative and entertaining book A Short History of Nearly Everything; and
- Michael Seifert from Universität Tübingen, for the “Children’s University”, a highly successful series of lectures designed to stimulate young people’s interest in studying science.
- Raphaël Girardot for a documentary film chronicling the history of BSE;
- Frances Balkwill for her children’s books helping children understand some of today’s most complex scientific issues;
- Colin T. Pillinger for his work in raising public awareness of space research;
- Catherine Peix for her documentary “Les origines du Sida” tracing the controversial history of the origins of HIV/AIDS;
- George Szpiro for his series of stories “Maths for Sunday morning – 50 stories on mathematics and science”.