Nature Awards competition to improve science communication through video announces its first winners


Science in Shorts, the new competition from Nature Awards and Springer Nature in partnership with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has announced its first winners, with the Top Ten being announced at the Curious2022 – Future Insight™ conference. The announcement was followed by a public vote to choose the “Curious2022 Favorite” among this year’s winners. Charles University’s Pavel Dolezal came out on top for his video “Will of iron” who explored how iron in the body is involved in a number of essential biological processes.

Enabling researchers to be able to communicate their work, in a way accessible to the general public, is essential to increase understanding and support awareness of scientific developments. Science in Shorts was launched with the aim of giving researchers a new platform to show what they do, how they do it and why it matters to society, in a digestible way to support engagement and scientific communication to the widest possible audience.

Speaking about the contest, Richard Hughes, Vice President of Publishing at Nature, said: “Today’s community accesses their information through a range of different tools and mediums. Effective science communication should be no different. Too often, complex, yet impactful research can be lost because researchers do not have access to the tools, skills or resources to help them communicate their work in a clear and simple way so that the general public can relate to it. engage. Science in Shorts aims to meet this challenge.

“As a global publisher, we are committed to helping researchers make academic discoveries accessible and discoverable. This competition is another example of how we are reaching new audiences to demonstrate the everyday impact and value of science on the world around us, in an exciting and engaging way.

The nominees each produced a 60-second video that was shown to panel editors, journalists, filmmakers, researchers and communications specialists across the Nature portfolio. From more than 100 entries, ten finalists were selected – each winning a €5,000 prize – with their videos previewed at the Curious2022 – Future Insight™ conference. Of these ten winning entries, a public vote decided which one would have the added distinction of being named “Curious2022 Favorite”.

Dr. Ulrich Betz, Vice President Innovation at Merck, said: “Making the results of scientific studies widely available and consumable with professional videos featuring the authors themselves is a new and very attractive concept. As we have just seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is vital that we further build public enthusiasm for science in society to help spread scientific knowledge.

Alongside Pavel Dolezal, the finalists were:

  • “A power-hungry killer” – Alex van der Starre, Cas Boshoven, Felix Evers, Julie Verhoef, Nick Proellochs and Taco Kooij of Radboud University Medical Center explain why the malaria parasite is deadly to humans but not to mosquitoes.
  • ‘Crinkled Leaves’ – Joint research by Jovana Andrejavic and Chris Rycroft, Team Crumple at Harvard University on crumple dynamics.
  • “Disorderly Conduct in Space” – Gily Ginosar of the Weizmann Institute of Science uses bats to find out how the brain constructs a changing 3D picture of the world as we move through it.
  • ‘Do not worry’ – Eleanor Jenkins, Filippo Macchi and Elena Magnani for the Kirsten Sadler Edepli Lab team at NYU Abu Dhabi on liver regeneration – how it knows when to repair itself and what stops it from continuously growing.
  • “Extreme Violence and Snow” – Samuele Ronchini of the Gran Sasso Science Institute analyzing and interpreting gamma-ray bursts.
  • ‘Now you see me’ – Ahmed Dorrah and Xinghui Yin, aka The Metasurfers from Harvard University, present their research on nanofabrication, structured light, and flat optics (also known as metasurfaces).
  • ‘Out on a limb’ – Luke Lythgoe for the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s Tree of Life team debunking the idea that humans are the pinnacle of genome complexity.
  • ‘Salmonella and me’ – Emma Werner from the University of Cambridge on cellular autonomic immunity against bacteria and how the ubiquitin system targets intracellular bacteria.
  • ‘Stay with me, kid’ – Amy Elliott for the ORNL Binder Jet team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on 3D printing materials used to make larger 3D prints.

Videos of each finalist are available on and YouTube. More information about Science in Shorts is available on the website here.

Science in Shorts adds to Springer Nature’s broader suite of awards, which includes platforms to help researchers communicate the impact of their research. More information about this can be found here.

Note to Editors

Videos of a selection of Science in Shorts candidates are available in the Science in Shorts library here.

About the Nature Wallet

Nature Portfolio is a range of high-quality products and services in the physical, chemical and applied life sciences – including journals, databases and researcher services – dedicated to serving the scientific community.

Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading international weekly scientific journal. Nature Portfolio also publishes a range of Nature-branded subscription journals, the leading multidisciplinary open access journal Nature Communications, other open access journals including Scientific Reports, and a range of Nature partner journals published in partnership with institutions and corporations. Together, these journals publish some of the most important scientific discoveries in the world.

Online, provides more than nine million unique visitors per month with nature research content, including news and commentary from Nature, and the leading science jobs forum, Nature Careers. Nature Portfolio also offers a range of services to researchers, including online and in-person training and expert language and editing services. For more information, please visit and follow @nresearchnews. Nature Portfolio is part of Springer Nature.

About Springer Nature

For more than 180 years, Springer Nature has advanced discovery by providing the best possible service to the entire research community. We help researchers discover new ideas, we ensure that all the research we publish is meaningful, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format and that it can be discovered, consulted, used, reused and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality editorial support to societies.

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates in healthcare, life sciences and electronics. Approximately 58,000 employees work every day to make a positive difference in the lives of millions of people by creating more enjoyable and sustainable lifestyles. From advancing gene-editing technologies, to discovering unique ways to treat the toughest diseases, to enabling device intelligence, the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, achieved sales of €19.7 billion in 66 countries.

The company owns the global rights to the “Merck” name and trademark internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business segments of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life sciences and EMD Electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been at the heart of the company’s technological and scientific advancements. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly traded company.

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