The SCANZ Excellence in Science Communication Award

The SCANZ Excellence in Science Communication Award is awarded biennially by the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand to recognise outstanding communication of science to a non-scientific audience.

2019 Award entries are now closed

2019 finalists:

  • Maths Craft by Jeanette McLeod and Phil Wilson at the University of Canterbury.
    For helping to strip away stereotypes around maths and craft by showing the fun, creativity and beauty in mathematics through the medium of craft, and demonstrating just how much mathematics there is in craft.

  • GeoTrips by Julian Thomson at GNS Science.
    For enabling people of all backgrounds and abilities to visit interesting rock outcrops, geological displays or landforms in Aotearoa, as well as make their own geological explorations and discoveries and contribute their findings.

  • Gut Bugs by the dedicated research team at the Liggins Institute (University of Auckland).
    For revealing the inside story - via a documentary series and school programme - of a clinical trial involving overweight teens taking capsules of lean people’s poo to see if gut bacteria can help treat obesity.

The winner will be announced at the SCANZ 2019 Conference.

About the Award

The SCANZ Award will be presented to any individual or team that have undertaken a science communication project and can demonstrate its success. The project can be from any area of science communication, for example, sharing information about a research project or results, building awareness of a scientific topic or concept, engaging a community to undertake a scientific project, or encouraging students to continue study in a scientific field.

The award will be judged on the quality of explanation of scientific concepts, how interest is captured, the relevance to and style of communication for the intended audience, and the delivery against identified objectives. In general, the project must have demonstrated that the chosen audience was engaged and gained a better understanding of an aspect of science and/or the role and importance of science in Aotearoa New Zealand or globally.

Entries must include a description of the project and results attained and may also include a portfolio of communications materials (written or audio visual) to demonstrate delivery of the project.

  • Any Aotearoa New Zealand-based individual SCANZ member, or team where one or more individuals are SCANZ members, is eligible to enter the awards. There are no restrictions on length of membership.

  • The chosen project must have been completed in the 2 years prior to the closing date.

  • A selection committee will assess all entries and determine award recipients based on submitted information only.

  • Awards will be presented at an event to be decided by SCANZ.


Damian Christie
— Congratulations to Damian, who won the 2017 SCANZ Excellence in Science Communication Award for his hugely popular YouTube series, “Jamie's World on Ice”.

“It was an honour to win the SCANZ award. As a relative newcomer to science communication it felt like a welcoming into the community, as well as validating the hard work I’d done on “Jamie’s World On Ice” from a scicomm perspective.
Applying for the award gave me the opportunity to think more theoretically about the work I’d done, and gave me the boost I needed to apply for the
Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize later that year. Sure the PM’s trophy is bigger, but the SCANZ award came first and I’ll always appreciate that!”

Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA)
— Congratulations to LAWA, winner of the 2015 SCANZ Excellence in Science Communication award. LAWA shares scientific data to connect New Zealanders to our environment. Find out more at