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1 October 2021
NSTF "Science Oscar" 2021 For Science Communicator Carolina Ödman
Prof Ödman was born in Switzerland, earned her PhD at Cambridge University, and has worked all over the world, spearheading projects reaching 40 countries. But it’s in South Africa that she’s found her home. As Associate Director: Development & Outreach for the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) - an innovative collaboration that tackles the challenges of Big Data in science - she’s championed outreach that matters, and spearheaded attempts to translate science into more of South Africa’s indigenous languages. 

Her work in advancing science outreach and education has earned her numerous national and international awards - and true to form, she’s managed to use those awards to (what else) communicate science. But the NSTF awards are a special case.

The NSTF Awards are only given to those who have made a truly significant contribution to science and research in South Africa. They’re awarded to researchers who have changed the way we understand the world around us, and our own place in it. Few have done that quite as well as Prof Carolina Ödman - who’s sharing not just science, but the joy of science, and inspiring others to perform research that makes a difference. We could not be more proud of her.

As Prof Ödman says: “Science isn’t (just) some tough technical stuff that “regular people” don’t need to understand. Science is really just structured curiosity - and we all learn by being curious about the world. We need to understand our world before we can change it, after all. So it’s crucial to get science communication right to make sure that the public owns science. Otherwise, how do we ensure the next generation of talented young people are able to seize the opportunities afforded by careers in science - and change the world?”

Please join me in congratulating Prof Ödman on her stellar achievements - and for reminding us that science belongs to all of us. 

Warm Regards,

Professor José Frantz
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation