The Mary Mulvihill Award is looking for its 2022 winner

1 Oct 2021

Mary Mulvihill. Image: The Mary Mulvihill Foundation

The annual science media competition will award €2,000 to the best project tackling the theme of ‘water’.

Applications are now open for the Mary Mulvihill Award, the annual science media competition for students enrolled in third-level institutions in Ireland.

The Mary Mulvihill Association today (1 October) launched the sixth edition of the competition. It will focus on the theme of ‘water’, with a prize of €2,000 for the best entry.

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. Its purpose is to honour her memory and her work in science journalism and communication.

Earlier this year, DCU 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. The theme for the year was ‘virus’.

Students can approach this year’s theme from any angle they wish, and submit a project in any format – text, visual, audio, video, or a combination of the four.

More details on entry requirements are available on the award website. The deadline for submissions is 29 April 2022.

‘Curiosity, creativity and storytelling’

The association said the theme was chosen following a Twitter poll that saw more than 1,000 members of the public vote.

“The tension between the bountiful availability of water and the challenge of managing this resource is an inescapable aspect of the competition theme,” the association said.

“Our bodies are 60pc water. The Earth’s surface is 70pc water. But billions are deprived of accessible, clean supplies. Millions of kilometres are walked daily around the world to get water.”

Judges will choose the entry that “best represents the curiosity, creativity and storytelling imagination that Mary Mulvihill showed in her work”. The winning entry will receive €2,000, while a €500 award may be given to another commendable entry on judges’ discretion.

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.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic