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13 November 2007

TWAS Awards First Prizes for Popularization of Science

TWAS awarded its first-ever Regional Prizes for Public Understanding of Science. The awards ceremony took place at the TWAS 18th General Meeting in Trieste, Italy. The prize, which is given by each of the Academies regional offices, carries a US$3,000 cash award. It is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving public understanding and appreciation of science.

The TWAS Regional Office for Central and South Asia (TWAS-ROCASA) Prize has awarded the prize toPervez Hoodbhoy, professor of nuclear physics and chair of the physics department at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Hoodbhoy is an internationally renowned physicist and prominent advocate for educational and democratic reform in Pakistan. He has written numerous articles on science and social issues in national newspapers and international magazines and journals. His book Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality has been translated into five languages. Over the past 15 years, Hoodbhoy has also produced an award-winning Urdu-language television series covering such topics as the origins of the universe and life, global warming, and DNA and inheritance, that have shown on Pakistan public television. He chairs Mashal, a non-profit organization that publishes Urdu books on women's rights, education, environmental issues, philosophy and modern thought. Hoodbhoy is a winner of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. (Related article in TWAS Newsletter: 'Fighting Fundamentalism with Science').

The TWAS Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (TWAS-ROLAC) has awarded the prize to Roberto Lent, professor of neurosciences and director of the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas,Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. Lent is the founder of Ciência Hoje, a science magazine for adults; Ciência Hoje das Crianças, a children's science magazine; and Ciência Hoje na Escola, a science book series for children. He also founded Ciência Hoje On Line, Brazil’s first electronic portal for the popularization of science; Instituto Ciência Hoje, a non-profit organization designed to promote the popularization of science; and Editora Vieira & Lent, a publishing house dedicated to science popularization that currently has 50 titles. Lent was awarded the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit in 2000 and the Brazilian Book Chamber’s Jabuti Award for Cem Bilhões de Neurônios in 2004.

The TWAS Arab Regional Office (TWAS-ARO) has awarded the prize to Adnan Hamoui (TWAS Fellow 1988). Hamoui, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, is editor-in-chief of the Arabic edition of Scientific American (Al-Loom) and a consultant for Ajman University Journal. He has enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor of mathematics and university administrator both in Europe and the Middle East, serving as professor of mathematics at Kuwait University for 30 years. He has authored more than 20 articles and translated 10 books. Hamoui served as on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of the Tensor Society of IndiaJournal of the Faculty of Science of the United Arab Emirates University, and Kuwait Journal of Science and Engineering. In addition to being a TWAS Fellow, he is a member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities in Paris, the International Information Academy in Moscow, L'Académie Arabe-Damas and the Islamic Academy of Sciences.

The TWAS Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA) has awarded the prize to Christina Scott of South Africa. Scott is serving as the first African news editor of SciDev.Net, a UK-based online news and information service featuring news articles and commentaries on science, technology and development in the developing world. She has also served as editor for three journalism textbooks, co-authored the world's first online science journalism course and is a member of the programmes committee for the World Federation of Science Journalism. She has recently been commissioned to write a science health book for African children. Scott has been a presenter and producer for radio, television and online news programmes. She is a winner of the CSIR Science Journalism in South Africa and has received a Jack E. Scripps Science Journalism Fellowship from the California Institute of Technology, USA.

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