Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski awarded Grand Prize in Popularizer of Science competition
The Grand Prize in the 18th edition of the Popularizer of Science competition has been awarded to Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, paediatrician, President of the Foundation for the Infection Prevention Institute, expert of the Supreme Medical Council for Epidemical Threats. Winners in five competition categories (scientist, animator, institution, media and team) also received awards.
The competition jury appreciated Dr. Grzesiowski's independence, courage, extraordinary ability to talk about difficult medical issues in an accessible manner, commitment to educate the public and fight fake news.
Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski is an academic teacher and author of almost 300 scientific publications. Since March 2020, together with a team of doctors, he has been conducting weekly open webinars on topics related to COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases. He chairs the Healthcare Hygiene Association and is the founder and General Director of the Center for Preventive Medicine and Rehabilitation in Warsaw. He still works as a paediatrician and uses this opportunity to educate children and parents.
He said: “We find out every day that science saves lives. Today we can say that COVID vaccinations saved 20 million people worldwide. The science brought us a COVID vaccine within one year from the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2virus. It shows what an incredible power science is. But there is still a lot to be done, because only 60-70 percent of the inhabitants of developed countries have been vaccinated. Even less in those that are still developing.”
He encouraged all journalists to contact him and assured that he would answer every phone call.
Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek congratulated the award and special mention winners in a letter.
He wrote: “Your commitment allows us to overcome the fear of what seems incomprehensible or too complicated. Thank you for introducing the latest achievements, taming seemingly difficult research issues, encouraging to ask questions. I appreciate that in your daily work you not only convey knowledge, but more importantly, you teach other how to use it.”
He added: “I am convinced that the promotion of science, creating a friendly social climate, inspiring young people, as well as promoting the scientific achievements of outstanding researchers is fundamental today.”
Chairman of the Board of the Polish Press Agency Wojciech Surmacz, 'cordially and with all his heart', congratulated the finalists and winners of the competition. He said: “When I used to watch this competition as an ordinary journalist, I always considered it an important event and I think it is one worth participating in and worth winning.”
The Popularizer of Science had been organised for 18 years.
Chief editor of PAP - Science in Poland and the president of the foundation - Małgosia Biegalska said: “This is a huge thing. Thanks are due, please forgive a kind of egoism, to the editorial office. I would like to thank Ania Ślązak.”
Chairman of the competition jury Professor Michał Kleiber also mentioned the 18-year history of the competition. He said: “We gather here for the eighteenth time to say clearly how important science is, and its popularization in particular. The climate is changing, energy sector serves us question mark after question mark, the pandemic reaps its victims, cultural disputes cause various conflicts. All this shows that credible knowledge is the key to our future. I have no doubt that a good future awaits those societies that can appreciate the importance of knowledge for the broadly understood development.”
This year's winner in the Scientist category is Dr. Wiktor Kotowski from the University of Warsaw. The jury appreciated the overall popularizing activities of the laureate, especially the popularization of the currently important issue of drying Poland and his commitment to the protection of wetland ecosystems in Poland and in the world.
He said: “I consider this award a token of appreciation of the idea of showing nature the fact that we need it to people and. Both to physically save our world, but also for our mental and spiritual balance - in short, our health. I want to say, Minister (Przemysław Czarnek - ed. PAP), that we need naturalists and representatives of nature protection organizations in our schools. And we also need to lead children and young people outside the walls of the school and into nature. (...) We need to go out in nature and feel it.”
The award in the Animator category went to Stanisław Łoboziak from the Copernicus Science Centre. The jury recognized that his creativity, extraordinary commitment, personality and authenticity, draws in many people. He said: “I spend my days in a laboratory, but I concur with (...) Wiktor Kotowski that we should go out and popularize science. I also like to take children outside and show them the living, tangible nature, and I encourage everyone to do so.”
In the Team category, the winner is the Lublin Science Festival. As the jury members emphasized, this event activates not only the residents of Lublin, it also affects the entire local environment.
Festival coordinator at UMCS, Dr. Monika Baczewska-Ciupak said: “This is a huge joy and honour for our public universities that organise by the Lublin Science Festival, as well as for 80 scientific and research institutes and organizations that participate in this event. The award is an extraordinary motivation for us to continue to popularize, to show others that science is beautiful, interesting, that it brings a lot of joy, and its role is to serve the public and change the world for the better.”
The award in the Institution category went to the WroSpace Association. The jury highlighted the most event organized by WroSpace - World Space Week Wrocław, describing it as the highest level, large scale event.
WroSpace Management Board member Anna Bukiewicz-Szul said: “We are volunteers who have decided at some point to share our passion on a slightly larger scale. Today we are standing here and we really see that the path we have chosen is the right one, and we promise that we will continue to follow it.”
Agnieszka Krzemińska received the award in the Media category. The jury awarded the scientific journalist of the weekly Polityka for the whole of her work, drawing special attention to her latest book Grody, garnki i uczeni, o archeologicznych tajemnicach ziem polskich (Forts, pots and scholars. On the archaeological secrets of Polish lands). She had already received the Golden Rose Award for her for the best Polish science popularization book of 2022.
In a video broadcast she said: “I receive this award as a representative of all those who promote the research of +the deep past+. I have believed for years that goes beyond interesting facts, it is also important for our understanding of the evolution of civilization, and thus still affects us and our lives.”
The jury also decided to award special mentions to Michał Młotek and the Energy Science Centre of the Kielce Technology Park.
In addition, the editors of PAP - Science in Poland granted special Tomasz Trzciński Award for the benchmark information policy. This year's award went to the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences
The editors appreciated the Institute's many years of popularizing activity, openness to the media, the desire to share knowledge and the results of their research with both the public and decision makers responsible for the protection of nature in Poland. The Institute has been practicing this approach for years.
The Popularizer of Science competition has been organised since 2005 by PAP - Nauka w Polsce. It is currently financed with funds from the Ministry of Education and Science programme Science for Society. It is the oldest and most prestigious competition in Poland that awards scholars, media people, institutions and social activists, whose passion is to share knowledge and uncover the mysteries of modern science for those not associated with the academic community.
PAP - Nauka w Polsce, Urszula Kaczorowska
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