JINR short-listed for Loyalty to Science Award

News, 28 October 2022

This year, two out of three applications submitted by the Joint Institute for the award have been short-listed. The JINR candidates are a leading researcher of the Laboratory of High Energy Physics Sergei Merts in the Science is Fashionable nomination and a series of comics called “Science in comics: putting complicated things simple” by the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems in the Biogenetic Enlightenment nomination.

Candidate of Physics and Mathematics Sergei Merts works on the NICA Megascience Project at JINR. Since 2018, Sergei has been taking part in numerous popularising events at which he tells participants of various ages about the NICA Collider Complex under construction, its physical tasks and capabilities. He often gives interviews to mass media, appears in science popularising videos, programmes and films about science. Thanks to the efforts of Sergei, science is not only getting more clear and closer to people but also more popular as a career path. He is an example for the young generation to see what it means to be a modern young scientist.

Among events in which he has taken part, there are the NAUKA 0+ All-Russian Science Festival, which is also a nominee for the award, the Sirius Educational Centre, Sputnik Radio, whose Learned Cat podcast has been also short-listed, GeekPicnic and TECHNOSPHERE festivals, Nanograd vacation programme, Summer School project. Sergei Merts appeared in the projects by Cultura TV Channel: film titled Dubna. Birth of the World and the Black Holes. White Spots programme.

How to speak about science so that it becomes understandable and interesting? A scientific metaphor comes in handy for the science populariser. It enables to transform complicated formulas and concepts into a vivid image. A scientific metaphor is best embodied in the format of science comics. That is why the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems JINR communicated the scientific research performed at the DLNP Sector of Molecular Genetics of the Cell using the science comic format. All published comics are the result of a joint project of DLNP JINR and the Komikadze artel, a creative association of screenwriters, artists, illustrators, and popularisers of science.

Laureates and diploma winners of the competition will be announced at a festive ceremony scheduled for the end of November. The award is organized within the Decade of Science and Technology announced by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

The Loyalty to Science Award has been presented since 2015 for outstanding achievements in scientific communications and popularisation of science. Its organizer is the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia, partners are the Russian Academy of Sciences, the NRC “Kurchatov Institute”, and Moscow State University. A non-profit charitable organization Art, Science and Sport Foundation has been financing the award for more than five years already. It should be reminded that last year, JINR was short-listed, the laureate of the award was Academician Yuri Oganessian.