Andrea Obaid, winner of the Award for Excellence in Science Communication.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, in partnership with the Schmidt Futures Foundation, announced the winners of the second edition of the prestigious 2023 Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication — known as the "Oscars" of the industry. This year the distinction, in the Freelancers category, has gone to the host of Tu Nuevo ADN of Radio Adn de Chile, Andrea Obaid. The journalist, who is also the president of the Chilean Association of Journalists and Professionals for Science Communication (ACHIPEC), is the first journalist in South America to be highlighted with theaward, for which 500 journalists and communicators applied this year.
The Adn journalist was highlighted for her two TV series: "Cocina Lab, comer tiene su ciencia", which in 12 chapters shows how science is present in food and food handling (premiered in 2021 and repeated in 2023 by TVN channel on its Chilean and international signals); and Chilenautas, an 8-episode series that shows how technology is transversal to the different artistic and engineering manifestations (broadcast on Canal 13 Cable, TV Educa Chile and Prime Video).
Through them, according to the jury, "it takes advantage of the knowledge of Chilean scientists and explores cultural avenues to make complex science accessible and delicious", as well as transversal thanks to its simple and entertaining language. "His enthusiasm for demystifying science with an approach that engages and interests large audiences is rare and deserves to be applauded. Obaid's unique voice has an incredible impact and voice of his own, elevating the way science is intertwined with life in Chile," adds the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Obaid expressed his gratitude: "This award is very important to me, as it integrates me into an international network of science journalists, with the aim of promoting science communication worldwide. In addition, it recognizes all the work I have been doing since 2006; but beyond that, it highlights the importance of scientific communication in Chile and the region, telling stories in a way that connects with people of all ages. Undoubtedly, this puts us as a country in a place of high visibility and importance worldwide."
The journalist has acknowledged that for many years she believed "that she was sailing against the current", and now she feels "that it is a mission" that she must fulfill. "Especially in the moment we are experiencing, such as a pandemic and various environmental crises, which I have taken as an opportunity for science, technology, health and the environment to have a privileged place in the media and in people's homes, so that they can make informed decisions." The challenge, he stresses, is to reach out to new media to "impact more people."
About the Awards
The 2023 Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Scholarly Communicationhad a selection committee of 30 people and a jury of 12 people withalong career, and recognized 24 science journalists, disseminators in the area and research scientists who have developed original and creative work to publicize various topics in science, engineering and medicine to the general public.
The winners were divided into eight categories: nine awards for scholarly communication by research scientists; nine awards for science journalists, and six awards for science communicators. In each of the categories, a main prize of $40,000 (about 31 million Chilean pesos) and two prizes of $20,000 (about 17 million pesos) were awarded.
The winners, including Chile's Andrea Obaid, will be honored during a recognition event and roundtables, which will be held on January 11 and 12, 2024 in Washington, DC.