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UK scientist and children's author wins EMBO Award for Communications 2004

Fran Balkwill, Professor of Cancer Biology at the Barts & The London, Queen Mary's Medical School, is the 2004 winner of the EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences. Balkwill receives the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to science communication for children. The cancer researcher has authored 13 children's books that take a novel look at a range of topics from genetics to HIV and AIDS. Balkwill is also the Director of the 'Centre of the Cell', an exciting new interactive bioscience centre in London's East End.

The EMBO Award for Communication is presented annually to a practising life scientist in Europe who has made significant contributions to public understanding of science. The award highlights the exceptional efforts made by many scientists to combine science communication activities with a full-time research career. Winners of the EMBO Communications Award are also put forward for the European Commission's Descartes Prize for Science Communication.

The International jury applauded Balkwill for 'her spectacular work in communicating important scientific concepts to the young and her untiring efforts to bring critical science and health messages to deprived communities'. The prize of Euro 5,000 and a handcrafted gold and silver medal were presented to Fran Balkwill on November 5, 2004 at the EMBL/EMBO Science & Society Conference, "Time and Aging Mechanisms and Meanings" in Heidelberg, Germany.

Frances Balkwill said: "I am delighted to receive this award, but I don't look on it as an individual achievement. Without illustrator, Mic Rolph, the books would never have been a success and there are numerous other people in the UK, Europe, South Africa and the US, who have helped and inspired me. The award is a great honour and I hope it will help stress the importance of science education for the young and bring attention to the plight of children at risk of HIV in Africa today."

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Contact: Lindsay Johnson
Lindsay.Johnson@embo.org
49-6221-8891-108
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
9-Nov-2004


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