Deadline approaches for Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award entries

13 Feb 2017

Image: Elena11/Shutterstock

A three-week reminder has been issued to student science communicators for this year’s Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award. The award winner will receive €2,000 for their ability to spin a good scientific yarn.

The inaugural Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award was announced last year, and will commemorate the work and legacy of the journalist, author and Ingenious Ireland founder who sadly passed away in 2015 after a short illness.

Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea described Mulvihill as a “pioneer of science journalism in Ireland”. The award is given in her name to carry on her tradition of nurturing the next generation of science writers and journalists.

Applications opened in November last year. Organisers have issued a three-week reminder to any potential applicants, with the deadline for submissions set at 3 March.

Led by Cormac Sheridan, the competition previously described Mulvihill as having an “insatiable curiosity about the natural world and the role of science in understanding it, and by a boundless imagination in telling stories about scientific explorations, both now and in the past”.

‘Her work demonstrated the power of storytelling’

Urging students to take part in the competition, science writer, broadcaster and contributor Claire O’Connell said: “Mary showed that science communication could be done, and could be done well.

“Her work demonstrated the power of storytelling, the importance of recognising the people who drive science and the benefits of exploring new media and routes to engage audiences.

“Mary was also generous with her encouragement and wisdom, and one of the practical tips she gave me early on was to try to put a piece of writing away for a little while and then revisit it with fresh eyes.”

Four judges have been selected to take part in the inaugural award: Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea, professor of neurology at Trinity College Dublin Orla Hardiman, Mulvihill’s sister Anne Mulvihill, and founding director of the Epic Ireland Museum Fiona Ross.

The award carries a prize of €2,000 for the best applicant.

Those looking to take part are required to submit either a piece of writing between 2,000 and 3,000 words in length, or a 10 to 15 minute recorded presentation.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic