The Mary Mulvihill Award 2023 is now open for applications

13 Oct 2022

Mary Mulvihill. Image: The Mary Mulvihill Foundation

This year’s theme – energy – was chosen after a Twitter poll with more than a thousand votes.

The Mary Mulvihill Association is now accepting entries for its annual student science media competition aimed at third-level students across the island of Ireland.

Named in memory of the Irish science communicator Mary Mulvihill, the competition is open to students of any discipline. The theme for this year is energy and the closing date is midnight on 31 March 2023.

Applicants are encouraged to approach the theme from any angle, including scientific, environmental or imaginative. Entries can be in the form of essays, memoirs, narratives, photos, infographics, comic strips, or even audio and video interviews.

The association said that the theme was chosen following a Twitter poll that got more than a thousand votes – a third of which went to energy.

“We encourage students thinking of entering this competition to approach the theme as almost endless. There are no prescriptions on how it might be approached,” the organisation advised.

The award is a project of Remembering Mary, an initiative established by family and friends of Irish science communicator Mary Mulvihill, who died in 2015.

Munich-native Samantha Tobias of University College Dublin was named this year’s winner of the Mary Mulvihill award for her project on rising sea levels and their impact on heritage sites.

Last year, Dublin City University postgraduate student Eoin Murphy was declared the 2021 winner for his audio documentary examining the contrasting experiences of Ireland and Peru during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mulvihill was a graduate of DCU’s School of Communications and a well-known advocate for increasing female participation in STEM. In 1990, she founded and became the first chair of advocacy group Women in Technology and Science.

In addition to her journalism work, Mulvihill also published a number of books, including Ingenious Ireland which told stories of STEM throughout the country’s history.

The 2023 Mary Mulvihill Award winner will receive €2,000 as prize money. Judges may, at their discretion, award an additional €500 to a “highly commended entry”.

Last November, a plaque in honour of Mulvihill was installed at her former home in Stoneybatter, Dublin. “We celebrate Mary for her warmth and her humanity, but also for her passion,” Irish radio broadcaster and reporter Leo Enright said at the launch.

“She was determined that Irish science should take its rightful place within Ireland’s national culture – it’s as much a part of the Irish cultural tradition as our poetry, our art and our music.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic