THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Science blog

03 November 2014

Access to Understanding

This week we share the final video from our Beautiful Science events season - the Access to Understanding science writing competition.

‘Access to Understanding’ is a science writing competition that challenges early career researchers to summarize a recent biomedical research article for a public audience.  The competition is delivered by the British Library in partnership with Europe PMC – the free life sciences information resource.  Although the move towards open access publishing means that scientific research is more easily accessible, access does not always equate to understanding as scientific papers often contain highly specific technical language. Access to Understanding aims to bridge this gap between access and understanding. 

Winning entrants were recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony, which included speeches by Sharmila Nebhrajani (Association of Medical Research Charities) and the Government Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Mark Walport on the importance of communicating science in an understandable way. As keynote speaker Sir Mark Walport said, “Science is for everyone - not just to be shared within a small closed community”.

First place went to Elizabeth Kirkham for her entry which explained research investigating the role of the brain in musical beat prediction and was published by eLife. 2014 also saw the launch of the People’s Choice award, which invited members of public to vote for their favourite shortlisted entry. You can read all the winning entries in the competition booklet

This year’s Access to Understanding competition launches later in November. We’ll be sharing more information on this blog very soon so stay tuned!

Katie Howe

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