Francesca Fragkoudi wins Falling Walls Science Engagement Prize of the Year 2018

February 01, 2019

For her science outreach project "Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace" in Cyprus, MPA researcher Francesca Fragkoudi won the “Falling Walls Science Engagement of the Year” in 2018 together with Shane McCracken “I am scientist, get me out of here“.  The prize was presented at the Falling Walls Conference in November 2018 in Berlin.

Columba-Hypatia is a science outreach project which takes place on the post-conflict island of Cyprus, with the aim of using astronomy as a tool for promoting meaningful communication and a culture of peace and non-violence. Activities include fun and educational astronomy projects in schools all around Cyprus,  where children are taught about their place in the cosmos within the modern astronomical context. Children from the two main ethnic communities (the Greek-Cypriot & Turkish-Cypriots) come together in the UN-controlled buffer zone and engage in astronomy activities adapted to promote interaction between the children, to help break down barriers, stereotypes and prejudices. The project is a collaboration between GalileoMobile and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research, and is supported by the International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development.

Falling Walls Engage is an international platform for all forms of science engagement, hosted by Falling Walls in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Its goal is to showcase successful science engagement projects from a wide range of fields. The programme seeks to highlight the scientific community’s responsibility for the common good and spread scientific literacy, with a special focus on “hard-to-reach” target groups. The winner of the “Falling Walls Science Engagement of the Year” can present their project at the Falling Walls Conference to an audience of 750 global leaders, decision-makers, and international media representatives. All participating projects are digitally documented and presented on an interactive learning website to inspire both professionals and the general public.

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