24 March 2014

Elizabeth Kirkham, Sheffield's Psychology PhD student wins 'Access to Understanding 2014' science-writing competition

Now in its second year, the Access to Understanding science-writing competition challenges PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers to summarise cutting-edge life sciences or biomedical research in plain English. This competition was born from the vision of making published, scientific research truly accessible to all.

Each year billions of pounds of public money is spent on scientific research. While online, open access to current research is becoming increasingly more widespread, many scientific findings are currently only accessible to a niche audience due to the use of highly technical language. A crucial component in making scientific knowledge truly accessible is communicating it in a way that is understandable to non-specialists.  The competition seeks to raise awareness amongst researchers of the increasing importance to the general public of being able to access and understand innovative research. Entrants were particularly inspired by this opportunity to hone their science communication skills.  Find out more at http://EuropePMC.org/ScienceWritingCompetition
[Extract taken from http://europepmc.org/docs/A2U_2014_programme_web.pdf]

Over 260 people entered from across the globe.  On 24th March 2014 Elizabeth and the and the other shortlisted entrants attended a ceremony at The British Library in London.  The government's Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Sir Mark Walport announced the overall winners, with Elizabeth's article winning first prize

Elizabeth’s winning entry 'Beat box: how the brain processes rhythm' has been published by eLife.