Andrea Obaid, winner of the award for excellence in scientific communication.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, in partnership with the Schmidt Futures Foundation, announced the winners of the second edition of the prestigious 2023 Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Scientific Communication—known as the “Oscars.” ” of the category—. This year the distinction, in the Freelancers category, went to the host of Tu Nuevo Adn on radio Adn from Chile, Andrea Obaid. The journalist, who is also the president of the Chilean Association of Journalists and Professionals for Science Communication (ACHIPEC), is the first journalist in South America to be honored with the award, for which 500 journalists and disseminators applied this year.
The Adn journalist was highlighted for her two TV series: “Cocina Lab, eating has its science”, which in 12 chapters shows how science is present in food and food manipulation (released in 2021 and repeated in 2023 by the TVN channel on its Chilean and international signals); and Chilenautas, a series of 8 chapters that shows how technology is transversal to the different artistic and engineering manifestations (broadcast on Canal 13 Cable, TV Educa Chile and Prime Video).
Through them, according to the jury, “it takes advantage of the knowledge of Chilean scientists and explores cultural avenues to make complex science accessible and delicious,” as well as transversal thanks to its simple and entertaining language. “His enthusiasm for demystifying science with an approach that engages and interests large audiences is rare and deserves to be applauded. Obaid’s unique voice has an incredible impact and voice of its own, elevating the way science is intertwined with life in Chile,” adds the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine of the United States.
Obaid expressed his gratitude: “This award is very important for me, since it integrates me into an international network of scientific journalists, with the aim of promoting science communication worldwide. Additionally, it recognizes all the work I have been doing since 2006; But beyond that, it highlights the importance of scientific communication in Chile and the region, telling stories in a way that connects with people of all ages. Without a doubt, this puts us as a country in a place of high visibility and importance worldwide.”
The journalist has acknowledged that for many years she believed “that she was sailing against the current,” and now she feels “that it is a mission” that she must fulfill. “Especially at the moment we are experiencing, such as a pandemic and various environmental crises, which I have taken as an opportunity for science, technology, health and the environment to have a privileged place in the media and in homes. of people, so that they make informed decisions.” The challenge, she emphasizes, is to reach new media to “impact more people.”
About the awards
The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Scientific Communication 2023 had a selection committee of 30 people and a jury of 12 people with great experience, and recognized 24 scientific journalists, disseminators of the area and research scientists who have developed works original and creative to raise awareness of various topics in science, engineering and medicine to the general public.
The winners were divided into eight categories: nine awards for scientific communication by research scientists; nine awards for science journalists, and six awards for science communicators. In each of the categories, a main prize of 40,000 dollars (about 31 million Chilean pesos) and two prizes of 20,000 dollars (about 17 million pesos) were awarded.
The winners, including Chilean Andrea Obaid, will be honored during a recognition event and workshops, which will take place on January 11 and 12, 2024 in Washington, DC.
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