Chinese scientist Xiangyi Li is the winner of the 2013 UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. He was selected by UNESO Director-General Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of an international jury. Ms Bokova presented him with the award at the opening of the World Science Forum which is being held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) until 27 November.
Professor Li, an academic and popular science expert, was one of the founders of the China Science and Technology Museum, which he also directed. He also led the Science Popularization Department in the China Association for Science and Technology, which promoted science in rural areas, factories and mines. He launched the first national study on the spread of scientific knowledge, and was a regular speak on science popularization or science education, for which he was recognized throughout the country.
Created in 1951, the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is awarded every two years. Jointly financed by the Kalinga Foundation and the Government of India, it rewards people who, over the course of their careers, have helped interpret science, research and technology to the public and raise awareness about the international importance of science and technology.
The prize winner is also offered the Kalinga Chair, established by the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology, and is invited to India to meet with scientists and science communication specialists. In this way, the laureate is able to become familiar with Indian culture, research and educational institutions as well as the country’s industry and economy.
The prize includes a $20,000 cheque, the silver Albert Einstein medal, and a certificate, which were presented to professor Li at the award ceremony.
Agnes Bardon, UNESCO Press Service
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