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John Maddox Prize - Guest Post by Professor David Nutt

Professor David Nutt won the John Maddox Prize in 2013. The judges awarded the prize to Professor Nutt in recognition of the impact his thinking and actions have had in influencing evidence-based classification of drugs, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world, and his continued courage and commitment to rational debate, despite opposition and public criticism.

Professor Nutt writes about the Maddox Prize:

When I heard of the Maddox Prize as a concept I was thrilled for two reasons. First because it gave a voice to scientists who had stood up for truth and evidence in the face of media and sometimes peer hostility. The other reason was because I had known John Maddox when I started in science back in 1979 as a graduate student in Oxford. I loved his sense of mischievous authority as well as his wisdom and love for our field. To be awarded the prize the next year was therefore doubly sweet, particularly as a surprising number of old friends were in the audience. 

Added to this was the fact that much of the promotional work announcing the award was done by young scientists who were amazingly supportive of my work and approach. The filmed interview for the website was a novel and energizing experience even for someone as desensitized to the camera lens as I thought I was.  In fact the whole experience was so enjoyable and memorable I decided to list the prize under my email and twitter addresses on my email signature. Hopefully it will help spread the word and encourage others to identify future scientists worthy of receiving it.

Nominations for the 2015 John Maddox Prize for standing up for science are now open and close on 20 August 2015.