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More information on René Descartes

  Descartes prizes

Aims and Objectives of the Descartes Prizes

The Descartes Prizes are among the activities supported under the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme, within the Research Directorate Science and Society.

Research prize

  • The 2004 Descartes prize for science communication

  • A new Descartes Prize for excellence in science communication

    In 2004, the European Commission launches a new Descartes Prize for outstanding results in science communication. The prize aims to recognise and reward high-quality and accurate science communication to the public. The winners of this prize share € 250,000.

    Through this new prize the European Commission aims to stimulate interest in science, to encourage people to consider scientific careers and to improve the quality of science communication with the public. It will also help to stimulate broader public understanding about science and research. The competition targets those organisations and individuals who have won similar competitions in their own countries, and who have succeeded in making science fun and exciting for people of all ages.

    Out of the lab and into the limelight

    For the first edition of the Science Communication Prize, a total of 47 proposals were received in the following seven categories:

    • professional scientists engaged in science communication to the public
    • press articles contributing to the popularisation of science
    • scientific documentaries
    • popular science books
    • innovative action for science communication
    • editorial policy for the promotion of science
    • scientific TV/radio programmes.

    The 38 eligible and high-quality proposals were examined by a panel of high-level European experts from the fields of research, science communication and the media. This year's 19 finalists, who succeeded in presenting science to the public in innovative, entertaining ways, came from Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, New Zeeland, Slovenia, Spain and the UK.

    The Descartes Prize for Communication - Finalists 2004

    The Descartes Award Ceremony

    The 2004 Descartes award ceremony took place on 1 and 2 December in the prestigious surroundings of the Prague Castle (CZ). The ceremony provided an outside view of European research and looked at comparing research priorities in Europe and key countries in North and Latin America and Asia.

    The Descartes Prize for Communication - Laureates 2004

    Descartes Communication Prize - Excellence in science communication
    ( 1.2 MB)

    Speech of Commissioner Janez Potocnik at the Prague ceremony, 1-2 December 2004 ( 81 kB)

    Photos of the Prague ceremony, 1-2 December 2004

Descartes Prizes:    2005  2004