UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science

? Open for Application

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By bridging the gap between science and society the benefits of scientific knowledge can be used to improve daily lives, empower people and find solutions to global, regional and local challenges. In order to strengthen communication between science and society it is important that efforts made in bridging the gap do not go unnoticed.

Popularizing science needs to be championed, including all activities that communicate scientific knowledge and scientific methods to the public outside the formal classroom setting and promote public understanding of the history of science.

UNESCO’s longest-running Prize, the Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science recognises exceptional skill in presenting and communicating scientific ideas. It is awarded to people who have had a distinguished career helping to interpret science, research and technology.

Established in 1951 following a donation from Biju Patnaik, Founding President of the Kalinga Foundation Trust in India, the Prize celebrates the power of science to improving public welfare and solving social problems. The Prize does not reward research, formal teaching or curriculum development.

Previous winners have included Nobel laureates, scientists, writers, editors, lecturers and media producers, all highly eminent in their field. They are chosen by the UNESCO Director-General following the recommendation of a jury of five, selected for their expertise in their field.

UK Laureates include Sir David Attenborough, Sir Julian Huxley, Sir Peter Brian Medawar, George Porters, Nigel Calder, Sir Gavin Rylands de Beer, Sir Fred Hoyle, Arthur C Clarke, and Bertrand Russell.

In addition to the financial award and medal, the laureate also receives the Kalinga Chair, established by the Government of India (Department of Science and Technology) which includes a certificate and cash award of US$5,000. They also get the opportunity to go on a 2 to 4 week funded lecture tour of India, meeting with universities, scientists and people involved in the communication of science.


Make sure you read the important information below before you apply for this prize. You must apply through the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Expressions of interest are welcome.


#Open for applications


15 April 2021


15 May 2021




Supported by the Kalinga Foundation Trust, Government of the State of Orissa and Government of India






1 winner awarded US$40,000, award certificate, UNESCO-Albert Einstein silver medal, and the Kalinga Chair


Every 2 years


March 2023
💌    Apply Today     


‘I’m ever so honoured by this prize. I simply couldn’t have achieved what I have without the nurturing environment that the University of Sydney provides for people like me who are perhaps not quite normal or in the mainstream.”

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, 2019 winner, Julius Sumner Miller Fellow in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney


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