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Ignacio López-Goñi, Full Professor of the University, award CSIC-BBVA of Scientific Communication

López-Goñi shares this recognition with researchers Margarita del Val, Alfredo Corell, José Antonio López Guerrero and Antonio Trilla.

FotoCedida/El director of the BBVA Foundation, Rafael Pardo, and the president of the CSIC, Rosa Menéndez, with the five scientists awarded in the category of researchers: Alfredo Corell, José Antonio López Guerrero, Margarita del Val, Antoni Trilla and Ignacio López-Goñi.

11 | 11 | 2021

The Full Professor in Microbiology of the University of Navarra, Ignacio Lopez-Goñi, has received the award CSIC-BBVA of Scientific Communication, in the category of researchers. López-Goñi shares this recognition with Alfredo Corell, José Antonio López Guerrero, Antoni Trilla and Margarita del Val "for becoming the voice of science from the beginning of the pandemic, transmitting the scientific knowledge on this threat in a language accessible to the public," according to the awards evaluation committee. In the face of "disinformation, hoaxes and manipulation", the five award-winning researchers "have tirelessly responded to the social demand for reliable scientific information on the nature of the coronavirus and its modes of transmission, as well as on the preventive measures needed to avoid its spread, possible treatments and vaccines".

The ceremony of submission of the inaugural edition of the CSIC-BBVA Foundation Awards and Grants for Science Communication has vindicated the essential role of the dissemination of knowledge to build societies capable of facing the main challenges of today's world. "If we want to deal decisively and effectively with monumental challenges such as climate change and the preservation of biodiversity, for which it is not plausible to find in a short time a scientific-technological fix analogous to the vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, we need a society with a broader and more structured scientific culture than the one existing today", said the director of the BBVA Foundation, Rafael Pardo, in the speech that he delivered during the ceremony held at the CSIC headquarters in Madrid. 

The award winners emphasized the essential role of science, and its dissemination to the general public, in building a better educated, freer and less manipulable society. The award-winning scientists have referred to their high media exhibition during the pandemic, experienced both as a responsibility and challenge, in a context in which validated information has coexisted day by day with hoaxes.

Professor Ignacio López-Goñi, highlighted the difficulty of combining the demand for answers with the lack of solid knowledge , a status that has grown in fertile ground for misinformation: "During these months society has been demanding certainties, when everything has been uncertainties. In this status, the knowledge dissemination of science, the effort to make scientific advances understandable to society has result fundamental. Science does not have all the answers, but only science, knowledge, cooperation and solidarity will get us out of this pandemic and shorten the times of this pandemic. Only together will we save ourselves," he said.

In the category aimed at journalists specialized in science communication, the winners in this first edition were the founding team of subject, the science section of the newspaper El País. The ceremony also saw the awarding of diplomas for the first CSIC-BBVA Foundation Science Communication Grants to journalists Lucía Casas, Leyre Flamarique and Ana Iglesias, to spend a year at CSIC institutes, laboratories and centers to learn first-hand how knowledge is generated in different disciplines, and thus strengthen their specialization in science communication.

goal Both the two Awards -each of them with 40,000 euros- and the three Grants -of 35,000 euros each- are part of the Program to Promote Science Communication, created earlier this year by the CSIC and the BBVA Foundation with the aim of recognizing and encouraging the indispensable work of journalists and communicators who report in a rigorous and attractive way on the progress of science, as well as improving the training in this decisive field for the scientific culture of society.

The evaluation committee for the CSIC-BBVA Foundation Science Communication Awards and Grants was chaired by Rosa Menéndez, president of the CSIC, and comprised Rafael Pardo, director of the BBVA Foundation; Jesús framework, vice-president of research Scientific and Technical of the CSIC; Rosina López, vice-president of Organization and Institutional Relations of CSIC; Abel Grau, head of Communication of CSIC; Pablo Jáuregui, director of Scientific and Environmental Communication of the BBVA Foundation; and Caty Arévalo, environmental correspondent of the EFE Agency.