Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement

Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement

About the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement

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The Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science is awarded to individuals or groups who have developed innovative and socially impactful practices in planetary science communication and education.

Through the Prize, Europlanet aims to:

  • Recognise achievements in engaging European citizens with planetary science, promoting inspiration, learning and social responsibility.
  • Raise the profile of public engagement and education as valued activities within the scientific community. 

The Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science was established in 2010 and is awarded annually*.

* No prizes were awarded in 2014 and 15. The Prizes awarded in 2020 have been supported by the University of Kent. The Prizes in 2021 are supported by the Dill Faulkes Educational Trust Ltd.

Nominations

When to Submit a Nomination:

The next call for nominations for the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement will open in the spring of 2022.

How to Submit a Nomination:

  • Complete the online form and upload three supporting letters. 
  • You can nominate yourself or another person. However, the three supporting letters should be from people other than the nominee.

Rules:

  • The prize recognizes and honours outstanding efforts by an individual or an institution in public engagement and/or educational activities related to planetary science.
  • It is awarded to individuals or groups who have developed innovative practices in planetary science communication/education, and whose efforts have contributed significantly to a wider public engagement with planetary science.
  • For the purposes of this prize, planetary science refers to the multidisciplinary study of objects in our Solar System and those orbiting other stars (exoplanetary systems).
  • The recipient of the prize will be selected by the Europlanet Outreach Jury following the above mentioned criteria. The Committee has the sole authority to select winners, as well as the option not to award the prize in any year, at its discretion.
  • The prize will consist of a cash award of 1500 €. The winner will be honoured at the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) and will be invited to share experiences and best practice by delivering an online prize lecture.

Contact: 

If you have any questions, please contact Federica Duras, Chair of the Europlanet Outreach Jury (federica.duras<at>inaf.it).

Find Out More:

Europlanet Prize FAQs

Past Prize winners

2021 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science

Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2021 awarded to Dr James O’Donoghue

The 2021 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement has been awarded to Dr James O’Donoghue for his work in creating high-quality space science animations.

James is a planetary scientist, specialising in the study of giant planet upper atmospheres, and online content creator working at the Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). In 2018 he started creating animations around his area of expertise and publishing them online on his YouTube channel. Now, with more than 80 animated visualisations of space topics, he has reached 200 million views on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Gfycat, Reddit, and received hundreds of citations in international news articles.

James’s goal is to paint an accurate picture of the Solar System in people’s minds, highlighting its most relevant features in an intuitive way, such as the relative sizes, distances, orbits and axial tilts of the planets, or how fast a ball would fall to the surface on different Solar System objects. 

The animations are not only widely appreciated on social media: multiple educational professionals at schools, universities, planetariums, museums use his material for teaching and outreach.

Read the full press release