We were very pleased to come across the following news yesterday about a contest that was held for students of the CUNY system:
Altogether, 12 CUNY undergraduates–out of 101 applicants–received awards for their essays based on 2009 Nobel prize-winning work in chemistry, physiology and medicine, physics, and economics. First, second and third prizes in each category included an Apple iMac Computer, a Dell Mini 10 Netbook, and an Amazon Kindle.
The impetus for the competition, said Vice Chancellor Gillian Small in her opening remarks, came about when the 2009 Nobel winners were announced, and she was reading a recent book of essays titled Unscientific America, How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future.
“There is a distressingly large number of Americans who refuse to accept even the theory of evolution,” said Small, who envisioned the competition’s essays making Nobel work in science accessible to a larger audience.
What a wonderful idea. This is just more evidence–and it is everywhere–that despite some hold-outs, an emphasis on fixing science communication is the new trend within science itself…and these are just the kinds of initiatives that will spur along that change.