Rutherford Plasma Physics Communication Prize

Sponsored by STFC Central Laser Facility.

The IOP Plasma Physics Group is proud to host the annual Rutherford Plasma Physics Communication Prize 2017. The award recognises those who exemplify excellence in outreach to the general public through the communication of plasma physics to those that are non-experts.

The prize is open to ALL members of the plasma physics community, whose application will be judged by a distinguished panel of scientists and communicators (to include one plasma physicist, one non-plasma physicist and one non-physicist). The winner will be announced during the 2017 IOP Plasma Physics Conference and will receive £500.

The application procedure requires evidence of excellent communication skills and discussion of the impact of the activity. Past applications have seen examples such as creating a website, giving a talk or lecture, writing an essay or an article in magazine, blogging or producing a podcast or video. Anything that communicates our plasma science will be considered - the more creative the better!

Nominations and self-nominations are welcome.

For more information and an application form, please email

Deadline for submissions: 12:00, 10 February 2017.

Previous recipients

Dr Melanie Windridge, Business Development Manager for Tokamak Energy
For her popular science book, Aurora: in search of the northern lights, published by William Collins in 2016. The book contains a detailed introduction for the layperson to plasmas and specifically to aurora plasma formation, fusion and the physics of solar wind. The impact of the book has been boosted by articles featured in Wired magazine, VICE Motherboard, Sidetracked magazine, Sky at Night and Astronomy Now as well as over 30 public talks across the world.

Kate Lancaster, University of York
For her Friday evening Discourse lecture at the Royal Institution.

Rachel McAdams, Ben Moody, Lee Morgan, Mohammed Shahzad and Tom Williams, University of York.
For their short film aimed at children aged 9-11, which explains why scientists are trying to build a 'mini-sun' on earth. The film previously won the first prize at Durham Energy Futures Film.