OeAW's Prize Question 2020: What can science achieve during pandemics?

Win up to €12.000 by answering this question

The Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) will award a cash prize to the three best answers to the question "What can science achieve during pandemics?"

The 1st prize is €12,000, the 2nd prize is €8,000, and the 3rd prize is €4,000, and the competition is open to both individuals and groups. Entries must be submitted in German, English, French, Italian, Russian or Spanish, and can be sent by email to preisfrage@oeaw.ac.at or by post to the Actuarial Office of OeAW, Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2, 1010 Vienna, by 31 December 2020.

What can science achieve during pandemics?

The worldwide spread of Covid-19 has had drastic social and economic consequences. Scientists have taken on an important role through their actions (and lack of action) in politics and society. As a result the relationship between science and politics may well have attained a new dimension, leading to the formation of mutual dependencies and power relations. During the phase when the virus was spreading rapidly scientists in many countries exercised a decisive influence on the actions of governments, which leads to the question whether more energetic action at an early stage could have prevented the situation from escalating. In view of the extraordinary amount of attention that has been paid to the public statements scientists made during the crisis more pressing questions arise regarding the way in which scientists position themselves in public and how the results of research as well – and above all – as scientific disputes, conflicting assessments and insufficient knowledge on the parts of politicians and the public at large are to be communicated, especially in order to separate these clearly from false reports deliberately spread for political reasons or rumours circulating via social media. The Covid-19 crisis is putting the system of science to the test. Has it passed the test? What lessons can be drawn from the crisis? Will science emerge from it strengthened or weakened?

Here you can download the terms and conditions and the flyer of the contest:

Terms and conditions

PDF Size: 137.06 KB | Last update: 21 July 2020


PDF Size: 2.13 MB | Last update: 21 July 2020
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