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Rutherford Plasma Physics Communication Prize

This prize is for excellence in the communication of plasma physics to non-experts. It recognises outreach work with the general public.

The prize is £500.

Nominations and self-nominations are welcome.

The winner is announced at our annual conference.

Applications must show:

  • discussion on the impact of the activity
  • evidence of excellent communication skills

Anything that communicates plasma science can be considered – the more creative the better.

Applications should be based on a single activity rather than a range of activities. Previous applications have included:

  • a website
  • a talk or lecture
  • writing an essay or an article for a magazine
  • blogging or producing a podcast or video

The prize is open to all members of the plasma physics community. Applications are judged by distinguished scientists and communicators, these include:

  • one plasma physicist
  • one non-plasma physicist
  • one non-physicist

This prize is sponsored by the Science and Technology Facilities Council Central Laser Facility.

How to apply

Nominations are now open and will close on midday on Friday 1 March 2024. For more information and an application form, please email: [email protected].



Dr Luca Vialetto and Dr Aaron Ho

Kiel University and the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research. For the podcast CoffeeBreakDown on YouTube about plasma science and applications.


Ella Fox-Widdows

University of Liverpool. For the Fusion Focused podcast that aims to highlight the diverse range of careers surrounding plasma science by interviewing inspiring experts in the plasma physics and/or fusion energy community.

The podcast can be found on a variety of podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


Cara Hawkins and Dr Laura Corner

University of Liverpool. For an episode of The Liverpool Scientific (S1, E7: Accelerator Science with Laura Corner). The podcasts can be found on Spotify.


Was not awarded this year due to no entries being received.


The A Glass of Seawater team

University of York. For its series of podcasts on plasma physics and nuclear fusion.


Dr Jena Meinecke

University of Oxford. For her role as lead organiser for the 2017 Royal Society Summer Exhibition stand, How to Make a Supernova featuring plasma research conducted on large laser facilities (focused on AWE's Orion laser) to recreate astrophysical environments in the lab.


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.


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.