Deadline extended: €2,000 Award for Best Work on the Theme, ‘Our scientific heritage’

Because of the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mary Mulvihill Association has extended the deadline for the 2020 Mary Mulvihill Award to midnight 30 April. Several prospective entrants had sought deadline extensions, due to disruptions in their study schedules and in their personal lives caused by the closure of universities and the need to relocate. We are responding positively to their requests. By extending the deadline for a month, we have also opened up the opportunity to other students to use the available time to develop new projects.

Enter the Award here.

The Mary Mulvihill Award commemorates the work and legacy of science journalist, author and Ingenious Ireland founder Mary Mulvihill (1959-2015).  For this year’s award, we invite entries on the theme of ‘Our scientific heritage’. We welcome projects and works in text, audio, visual or mixed formats that explore places, artefacts, personalities, and issues—such as public awareness or conservation—relating to Ireland’s scientific and industrial heritage. In the context of the present crisis, an examination of Ireland’s experience of previous epidemics would also be appropriate.

This year’s theme was chosen to celebrate the republication of Ingenious Ireland, Mary’s landmark book, which, county by county, reclaimed for contemporary readers Ireland’s long-neglected scientific, industrial, geological, ecological and archaeological heritage. We invite entrants to explore Ireland’s ‘mysteries and marvels’, be they known or unknown, in the same spirit of intellectual curiosity and pleasure in storytelling that Mary brought to bear on her work.

The award is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in an Irish higher education institution at the time of submission. In addition to the overall award of €2,000, the judges may, at their discretion, make an additional award of €500 for a highly commended entry.

The 2019 award winner Laura Finnegan, a PhD student in the Department of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, encouraged prospective entrants to “use this competition as motivation to embark on that project you’ve been thinking about”. The theme for last year’s award was ‘science for the love of it’. Laura, who is a scientific illustrator as well as a research scientist, produced a range of entries for an illustrated children’s book profiling notable Irish scientists.

“Don’t be afraid to tackle something ambitious. You can always produce a sample of what could be a larger body of work,” she said.  She also advised entrants to “be imaginative and have a bit of flair” and to “show passion for your work, as Mary did”.

The judges for the Mary Mulvihill Award 2020 are:

  • Ellen Byrne, Creative director & co-founder, Festival of Curiosity
  • Karlin Lillington, Irish Times tech journalist & columnist
  • Nigel Monaghan, Keeper, National Museum of Ireland – Natural History
  • Anne Mulvihill, Sister of Mary Mulvihill

The Mary Mulvihill Award is a project of Remembering Mary, an initiative established by family and friends of the late Mary Mulvihill (1959–2015) to honour her memory and her work in science journalism, science communication and heritage and to promote her legacy. It administers and awards funds to commemorate her work and its significance.

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