2021 - All Press Releases

Lifting the lid on science - Nature Awards launches new competition to improve scientific awareness

Lifting the lid on science - Nature Awards launches new competition to improve scientific awareness

London | New York | Darmstadt, 16 November 2021

Science plays a vital role in our society - yet more often than not, its true impact and value can be hard to communicate, see or understand. Distilling complex theories, data and experiments, into easily accessible points is challenging.

Science in Shorts, a new competition from Nature Awards and Springer Nature in partnership with Merck KGaA, encourages scientists to enhance the accessibility of their research through short, creative videos that highlight the importance of their work and engage the public with science.

Richard Hughes, VP Publishing, Nature said: “Science communication is notoriously challenging, but increasingly important. With this competition we are looking to bridge the gap between science and the wider public, and encourage scientists to share their research in an accurate and accessible way that resonates with a wider audience.”

On engaging the public, Hughes added: “The audience for these videos is everyone. By creating engaging, one minute videos that can be shared and repurposed across multiple channels we hope Science in Shorts can kick start conversations around the role of science in society, the story behind the research, why it matters and the impact on all our lives it can have. We also want to have some fun.”

Designed to break down the walls around science and capture the attention of the public, applicants* are asked to produce a 60 second video to present their research in any way they see fit - the more engaging and creative the better. A shortlist of ten of the best entries will be chosen in July 2022, with each of those shortlisted receiving a prize of €5,000. Each of these videos will be made available on nature.com and on YouTube. The shortlist will be determined by a multidisciplinary team of editors, reporters, filmmakers, researchers and communications specialists from across the Nature Portfolio. A public vote will be held to determine the ‘People’s Choice’ winner from amongst the final shortlist.

Ulrich Betz, Vice President of Innovation for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany said: “The announcement of the finalists of the Science in Shorts campaign will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Curious2022 Future Insight Conference – United by science for a better tomorrow – underlining the importance of science communication.”

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is committed to working with the scientific community to support researchers in the communication, accessibility and visibility of their work. Through its suite of awards, including Science in Shorts, it looks to extend this commitment by providing platforms to support researchers in communicating the impact of their research, and extending the evidence based approach that drives change forwards. More on the publisher's commitment to this can be found here.


How to apply:

Full details on how to apply can be found on the Nature Awards website.

Note to editors:

*Participants must have published a paper, or had a paper accepted for publication, in a Nature Portfolio journal between 1st November 2020 and 1st November 2021, not necessarily as the lead or corresponding author. See a full list of eligible Nature Portfolio journals here.

The application window is open from Monday 15 November 2021 and closes Monday 28 February 2022.

About Nature Portfolio

Nature Portfolio’s high-quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences is dedicated to serving the scientific community.

Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading, international weekly journal of science. Nature Portfolio is also home to the Nature research and Nature Reviews journals, the leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications, and open access journals including Scientific Reports. Together, these journals publish some of the world's most significant scientific discoveries.

Online, nature.com provides over nine million unique visitors per month with Nature Portfolio content, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board, Nature Careers. Nature Portfolio also offers a range of researcher services, including online and in-person training and expert language and editing services. For more information, please visit nature.com and follow @nresearchnews. Nature Portfolio is part of Springer Nature.

About Springer Nature

For over 175 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Portfolio, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. For more information, please visit springernature.com and @SpringerNature

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 17.5 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

For more information and in case you are a resident of the USA or Canada please visit EMDgroup.com. Residents from all other parts of the world can go to MERCKgroup.com.


Sam Sule | Communications | Springer Nature