Access to Understanding | MND Research
"Now in its second year, the Access to Understanding competition challenges PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers to summarise cutting-edge life sciences or biomedical research in plain English. The competition was born from the vision of published, scientific research being truly accessible to all. Each year billions of pounds of public money is spent on scientific research. While online, open access to current research is becoming increasingly more widespread (thanks to the efforts of groups such as the Europe PMC funders, which includes the Motor Neurone Disease Association), many scientific findings are currently only accessible to a niche audience due to the use of highly technical language. A crucial component in making scientific knowledge truly accessible is communicating it in a way that is understandable to non-specialists. The competition seeks to raise awareness amongst researchers of the increasing importance to the general public of being able to access and understand innovative research. Entrants were particularly inspired by this opportunity to hone their science communication skills ... We asked competition entrants to write a summary of a research article so that an interested member of the public would understand. Entrants were required to explain the research and why it matters in no more than 800 words. Ten recent articles were specially selected by Europe PMC funders for inclusion in the competition, including one selected by the Association. Research topics spanned basic to clinical to cognitive science and highlighted several major diseases. The articles are all freely available via Europe PMC. Our judges selected the winning and shortlisted entries, and prizes were awarded by the UK’s Chief Scientific advisor Sir Mark Walport. These entries can each be read on the Europe PMC blog – the best entry about the MND Association article is here. More information is available on the Access to Understanding competition page, where you can also download a competition booklet containing all the winning and shortlisted entries as well as watch a short highlights video of the award ceremony ..."
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