Unsung Heroes of Science Competition Winners Celebrated at Hertford
26 July 2023
At the end of June, 17 young people came to Hertford for the Unsung Heroes of Science Celebration Day. All were shortlisted for the annual Unsung Heroes of Science competition, which challenges teenagers aged 16-18 around the world to tell the story of an unsung hero of science.
The group enjoyed lunch in Hall, followed by a science-themed scavenger hunt around Oxford to find scientific landmarks. The prize-giving ceremony took place in the Baring Room at Hertford afterwards, and the day was rounded off with a celebration tea in the Old Hall.
This year, the competition attracted nearly 60 submissions from all over the world. A group of Hertford science tutors, including Martin Maiden (Biology), Claire Vallance (Chemistry), Pat Roche and Sid Parameswaran (both Physics) helped with the final judging process, and they also attended the prize giving ceremony and celebration tea so finalists had a chance to ask questions. Prizes were presented by Mat Hickman, Head of Public and Community Engagement with Research at Oxford University, assisted by Claire Vallance.
This year’s first prize was awarded to Hew Chan and Alexandra Curtis for their fascinating video about Mary Anning, the young girl from Dorset whose paleontological findings contributed to changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life in the early 19th century. Laila Ahmed took second prize for her video about Sophie Germain, a pioneering 18th century French mathematician, physicist and philosopher. Third prize went to Sabina Madden for her video about Emmy Noether, one of the leading mathematicians of the early 20th century, who made many important contributions to abstract algebra. In physics, Noether’s theorem explains the connection between symmetry and conservation laws. The winner of the international competition was Lisa Chi Ying Tsoi from Hong Kong for her video about Mikhail Tsvet, the Russian-Italian botanist who invented chromatography.
Follow the links below to watch all the videos and discover your new favourite unsung hero of science.