The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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The 2019 John Maddox Prize

19 June 2019

The John Maddox Prize recognises the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.

Eligibility and Nomination Process

The John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science is awarded to an individual for any kind of public activity in any of the areas listed below:

  • Addressing misleading information about scientific issue (including social science and medicine).
  • Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
  • Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.
  • An additional prize is awarded to an individual who in the opinion of the judges is at an early stage of their career.

Evaluation and Judging

  • The winner is chosen by a judging panel. Candidates will be judged on the strength of their nomination based on the below criteria:
  • How clearly the individual advanced the discussion of good science, despite challenges.
  • The nature of the challenge(s) faced by the individual.
  • How well they placed the evidence in the wider debate and engaged others.
  • Their level of influence on the public debate.

The 2019 judges are:

  • Lord Martin Rees – University of Cambridge
  • Natasha Loder – The Economist
  • Sir Colin Blakemore – University of London
  • Tracey Brown – Sense about Science
  • Magdalena Skipper – Nature

Judges sit in a personal capacity.

The prize will be awarded for specific achievements, and the decision will be final and not open to appeal.

To express an interest in being nominated by the Royal Irish Academy, please contact Craig Skerritt, Policy and International Programmes Manager, at by 12 July 2019.

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