UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science

The deadline for reception of nominations by UNESCO is Monday, 17 May 2021, 23:59 (Paris time, UTC+1).

An international distinction awarding outstanding contributions of individuals in communicating science to society and promoting the popularization of science.

By bridging the gap between science and society the benefits of scientific knowledge can be used to improve daily lives, empower people and find solutions to global, regional and local challenges. In order to strengthen communication between science and society it is important that efforts made in bridging the gap do not go unnoticed. Popularizing science needs to be championed, including all activities that communicate scientific knowledge and scientific methods to the public outside the formal classroom setting and promote public understanding of the history of science.

The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an international award to reward exceptional contributions made by individuals in communicating science to society and promoting the popularization of science. It is awarded to persons who have had a distinguished career as writer, editor, lecturer, radio, television, or web programme director, or film producer in helping interpret science, research and technology to the public. UNESCO Kalinga Prize winners know the potential power of science, technology, and research in improving public welfare, enriching the cultural heritage of nations and providing solutions to societal problems on the local, regional and global level.

Many past Prize winners have been scientists in their own right, while others have been trained in journalism or have been educators or writers. Some have also been Nobel Prize winners. Previous laureates include Sir Julian Huxley, Margaret Mead and Sir David Attenborough.

The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is UNESCO’s oldest prize, created in 1951 following a donation from Mr Bijoyanand Patnaik, Founder and President of the Kalinga Foundation(link is external) Trust in India. Today, the Prize is funded by the Kalinga Foundation Trust(link is external), the Government of the State of Orissa, India(link is external), and the Government of India (Department of Science and Technology(link is external)).

The application dossier should preferably be submitted online through this platform.

The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is awarded biennially. The deadline for the call for nominations is 17 May 2021.

The Prize is destined to candidates having contributed significantly to the popularization of science. The Prize may be awarded only to individuals. A work produced by a group of people shall not be considered.

Nominations shall be submitted to the Director-General by the governments of UNESCO Member States and Observer States, in consultation with their Permanent Delegations and National Commissions, or through PDF icon Non-Governmental Organizations maintaining formal relations with UNESCO. A self-nomination cannot be considered. Each Member State and Non-Governmental Organization may designate one candidate.

About the candidates

  • The Prize rewards writers, editors, lecturers, radio/television/web programme directors or film producers who have devoted their career to interpreting science, research and technology for the general public;
  • The applicant does not need to have a science degree;
  • This prize does not reward research;
  • This prize does not reward formal teaching (at school/university), nor curriculum development for the formal learning sector.


The application dossier should preferably be sent by e-mail. If, however, it must be sent by postal services, it should include five hard copies or five digital supports (USB, CD, or DVD) of the complete dossier.

Applications should be addressed to the Secretariat of the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science:

Mr Yoslan Nur
Programme Specialist
Division for Science Policy and Capacity Building
Natural Sciences Sector
UNESCO
7 Place Fontenoy
75732 Paris Cedex 07 SP
France
Email: y.nur@unesco.org