Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
The Sense About Science Annual Reception, jointly hosted with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society , is a chance to bring together friends and supporters who we have worked with over the last year from our wide-ranging constituencies of scientists, politicians, journalists, patient groups and individuals. It is an opportunity to reflect on our work and achievements, and to look ahead to future work. Since 2012, the winner of the John Maddox Prize has been announced at this event.
Joint winners were announced for the 2014 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science: Dr Emily Willingham and Dr David Robert Grimes.
Emily Willingham said "Standing up for science and public health in the face of not only unyielding but also sometimes threatening opposition can be tiring and demoralizing, and this recognition is a welcome counterbalance that brings some positive perspective."
David Grimes said " In everything from politics to healthcare, evidence is too frequently jettisoned, distorted or ignored to suit ideological biases, and misconceptions surrounding issues of science and evidence are incredibly detrimental to finding pragmatic solutions to the problems we face as a society; challenging these misunderstandings and confronting misinformation may often feel like a Sisyphean task, but it is vital."
Photos thanks to Lucy Brooks, view more on Flickr.
The winner of the 2013 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science, Professor David Nutt, was announced at the 2013 Annual Reception
Professor Nutt said "Science is arguably the defining characteristic of humanity. It therefore is imperative that scientists play their full role in all aspects of human life. Being awarded this prize gives me the confidence to continue to do what’s right, and hopefully will inspire others to follow suit."
Photos thanks to Lucy Brooks, see more photos of the 2013 reception on Flickr
At the 2012 Annual Reception, the winners of the inaugural John Maddox Prize for standing up for science, Professor Simon Wessely and Shi-min Fang, were announced.
Philip Campbell, Editor at Nature and judge said: “The winners of the prize demonstrated the kind of sustained resilience and determination to communicate good science that John Maddox personified.”
Keynote speakers from previous years have been:
2011 - Robin Ince, comedian and radio presenter
Standing up for Science: Stepping in to new territories
The evening celebrated the work of Robin Ince, who was given a Standing up for Science award. Robin treated the guests to a whirlwind tour of his motivations, as a non-scientist, for running shows and radio programmes asking science questions. His shows are “aimed at anyone who’s interested. And I don’t mean interested in science. I mean literally interested. Are you interested in the world? Do you want to know just a bit more?”
2010 - Dr Simon Singh, science writer
Standing up for Science: clinical trials and libel trials
Dr Simon Singh discussed the recent libel case brought against him by the British Chiropractic Association, and the importance of protecting open discussion and criticism for science.
2009 - Dr Alan Dangour, senior lecturer and registered public health nutritionist, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Standing up for Science and Making Sense of Evidence
Dr Alan Dangour described the release of his systematic review on organic food, and the subsequent media frenzy that ensued. The reception coincided with the launch of our new guide Sense About Systematic Reviews.
2008 - Phil Willis MP
Why Evidence Matters
Phil Willis highlighted the importance of evidence in policy-making. To mark the 40th anniversary of the Medicines Act (1968), we also launched our Evidence Based Medicine Matters campaign, popularising the contribution of Evidence Based Medicine to modern medicine.
2007 - Nick Ross, television presenter and president of HealthWatch
Trick or Treatment? Helping the public make sense of science
Nick Ross discussed the role of scepticism and scientific thought in modern society.
2006 - Professor Michael Baum, Emeritus Professor of surgery, UCL
Evidence, Medicine and Snake Oil: the challenges facing doctors and pharmacists
Professor Michael Baum discussed the MHRA’s stance on efficacy in relation to homeopathic products, and the importance of evidence based medicine.