NERC Impact Awards... by Katherine Royse

The very first NERC Impact Awards, to formally recognise and reward NERC-funded researchers who are achieving substantial impact on our economy and society, was held on Tuesday 27th January in London. Katherine Royse, BGS Science Director for environmental modelling, reports on the event...

The Impact Awards were held in the RIBA in Portland place, a fantastic venue. The room was filled with the most senior people from the environmental and earth sciences. There must have been well over a hundred people there including our Executive Director Prof John Ludden

The event even had its own cup cake one for every guest! 

Around the room there were several banner posters which told you all about the candidates. I had a chat with Hannah Cloke about her work she was very excited to be there and her work has brought about significant changes in decision-making practice, improvements in flood warnings and a reduction in flood risk around the world. 

There were four categories;   

Economic impact - Recognising research that has achieved exceptional economic benefit. This was awarded to Stephen Boult for his work on developing new instruments to monitor water and gas in the environment;

Societal Impact - Recognising research that has achieved exceptional social, cultural, public policy or service, health, environmental or quality of life benefits. This went to Jeremy Thomas for his work on Blue Butterflies; 

International Impact - Recognising research that has achieved exceptional economic and/or societal impact outside the UK. This went to John Pyle for healing the ozone hole. He also received the award for Overall Winner;

Early Career - Recognising an early career researcher who has achieved exceptional economic and/or societal impact within the UK or internationally. This went to Hannah Cloke for her work on flood forecasting uncertainty;

After watching all the videos about all the candidates everyone on my table was very inspired about it all. Talking with the candidates and other guests afterwards was really interesting and I really hope that NERC does this again to celebrate science and it's impacts on society. Get all the information about the finalists on the NERC website here.