2021 ISC Awards

Meet the 2021 awardees and learn more about the ceremony that took place on 13 October 2021 during the 2nd ISC General Assembly.

Paris, 13 October 2021 – Ten different awards were conferred to individual scientists and organizations in recognition of their leading-edge research in different fields of science, and actions to promote free and responsible science that is accessible to all. All ten of the inaugural awardees are working on issues of critical important to science and to society, including tackling pandemics in low-resource settings, reducing emissions, developing pathways to sustainable development, making scientific knowledge accessible to all and safeguarding scientists at risk. 

Read the full press release


Huadong Guo

2021 Science for Sustainability Award

Director General of the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS), Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Aerospace Information Research Institute

Prof. Guo is one of the most recognized scientists in China and is well known internationally. Appointed by the UN Secretary-General to the UN 10-Member Group to support the Technology Facilitation Mechanism for SDGs, he has actively contributed to and participated in international efforts towards sustainability. With an extremely strong profile recognized already by many awards, Prof. Guo works across scales from local to global with a focus on global Big Earth Data & SDGs. Read more

Winfried Blum

2021 Science-for-Policy Award

Emeritus Professor of Soil Science at the Institute of Soil Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna

Prof. (em.) Dr. Blum is a highly-established scholar in the field of soil science, receiving many awards for his work including 5 Honorary degrees. He is a prolific academic with rich teaching and research experience in different countries. He served as Secretary General of International Union of Soil Sciences for 12 years, organizing many important conferences, and proposed the creation of the World Soil Day. He founded ICSU’s Food Security Committee He has made outstanding contributions to the development of the discipline, the advancement of related policies, and has raised international awareness of soil science research and the need for sustainable soil management. Read more

Sekazi Mtingwa

2021 Policy-for-Science Award

Administrative Judge at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, President of InCREASE, Principal Partner of Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC

Prof. Mtingwa initiated and sustained several important centers, societies, institutes, initiatives, networks, and pan-African programs, beyond his own discipline – particularly, the African Laser Centre, the African Physical Society, the African Institute for Mathematical Science in Ghana, the African Light Source Initiative, the Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerer University of Agriculture and Technology in Tanzania. He made significant contributions to science systems in developing countries and contributed to the strengthening of diversity in physics in the USA.

Scholars at Risk (Robert Quinn)

2021 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission it is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom.

At a time when academic freedom is under threat in numerous countries, the work of SAR to promote academic freedom is invaluable to global science systems. The sanctuary and assistance provided by SAR has enabled hundreds of scholars around the world to freely continue their academic careers in safety. This work has lifelong benefit for individual scholars and their families, but also serves to preserve their skills, knowledge, and intellectual contributions for the benefit of wider society. Thus, the work of SAR directly promotes science, along with other academic disciplines, as a global public good. Read more

Shymaa Enany

2021 Early Career Scientist Award Award – Africa

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Suez Canal University, Associate Professor of Biomedical Research at the Armed Forces College of Medicine

Prof. Enany has an excellent track record working with international researchers, as she travelled to Japan and the USA, before settling in Egypt. She serves on many international committees and is active in advancing research and gender-related issues. She is a Member of the Young Academy of Science in Egypt, showing leadership in supporting early-career scientists through her teaching and mentorship – she has a strong record of graduating masters and PhD students. Prof. Enany is also the Egyptian ambassador in the Next Einstein forum and is the regional board member of the Arab region in the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). Also, she has received the Egyptian state encouragement prize for women in Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2019) and the World Academy of Sciences award ‘Young Arab Scientist Prize’ for Scientific Achievement in Medical Sciences (2018). Read more

Aditya Sadhanala

2021 Early Career Scientist Award – Asia

Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Science

Dr. Sadhanala is a leading early-career scientist globally exploring new frontiers of interdisciplinary research and technologies with a focus on energy and optoelectronics. He has developed one of world’s most sensitive absorption measurement techniques, and his work has featured in several leading journals. More importantly, one polymer has been commercialized for use in high- speed flexible electronics. Dr Sadhanala has been awarded by Clarivate Analytics – Web of Science for the last two consecutive years 2019 and 2020. This award recognizes the top 1% of scientists with measurable impact parameters across interdisciplinary field of research. He has several other honourable awards and academic recognitions. Read more

Joeri Rogelj

2021 Early Career Scientist Award – Europe

Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Director of Research and Reader in Climate Science & Policy at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London

Dr. Rogelj’s research has had an exceptional impact on international climate policy. His pioneering work on climate change scenarios changed the global conversation around the feasibility of keeping global warming to 1.5°C in advance of the UN Paris Agreement. His other major contributions that have increased understanding of climate action include studies of the effectiveness of international climate agreements, of carbon budgets and net zero targets for limiting climate change, and of the interaction between climate action and sustainable development. Over the past decade, Dr. Rogelj has played a leading role in international climate science and policy, serving as an author on highly influential reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), providing expert evidence to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and serving as the youngest member on the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit Science Advisory Group in 2019. Read more

Sherilee Harper

2021 Early Career Scientist Award – North America

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Health at the University of Alberta

An internationally renowned expert in climate change and health, Dr. Harper’s award-winning research has advanced community-led approaches, bringing local voices, experiences, and priorities into international decision-making about climate change. Dr. Harper has been actively engaged with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has advised the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on climate change topics. Read more

Arianna Becerril-García

2021 Early Career Scientist Award – South America and the Caribbean

Professor at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Executive Director of the Redalyc Scientific Information System, Chair of AmeliCA, Open Knowledge for Latin America and the Global South

In 2002, Dr. Becerril-García co-founded the Network of Scientific Journals from Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal in the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, based on a vision of science as a common and public good. She has been successfully developing technology for non-commercial journal publishing, discoverability of open content and metrics for research assessment based on an approach that enables bibliodiversity, multilingualism, sustainability and inclusivity in academy-owned scientific publishing. She is leading the CLACSO’s Working Group on Open Knowledge as Commons with the participation of 26 researchers from 10 countries. Together with UNESCO, she has organized the recent Open Access Essay Competition for advanced students and young researchers, and she is working with institutions in Angola to advance non-commercial scholarly communications and Open Science. Read more

Muireann Irish

2021 Early Career Scientist Award – Australia and Oceania

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Psychology and Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney

Prof. Irish’s research on brain network dysfunction in dementia has provided fundamental new insights into novel treatment pathways to improve quality of life for people living with dementia. Her landmark 2012 study was the first to demonstrate that semantic brain network dysfunction in dementia disrupts the capacity to envisage the future. This work was declared “paradigm changing” by experts in the field. The calibre of Prof. Irish’s work has been formally recognized through numerous prestigious awards and accolades from almost every major society within her field. She displays an unwavering commitment to supporting the next generation of young scientists in Australia through targeted mentoring of young women and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Read more


About the 2021 prizes

All 2021 awardees received an original piece of art by scientific photographer Karl Gaff who specializes in microscopy art.

To me, scientific photographic art must not only be educationally informative, but it must be enlightening and it must be aesthetically beautiful to the extent that you would like to hang them on the walls of your home.

See Karl Gaff’s website

2021 Awards Selection Committee

Mercedes Bustamante

Brazil | Brazilian Academy of Sciences

Anna Davies

Ireland | ISC Governing Board

Ruth Fincher

Australia | ISC Governing Board

Alik Ismail-Zadeh

Germany | ISC Secretary (Chair)

Umut Korkut

United Kingdom | International Political Science Association

LI Jinghai

China | ISC Vice-President

Shuaib Lwasa

Uganda | Global Center on Adaptation

Mathieu Denis

France | ISC Science Director
(Ex-officio)

Narinder Mehra

India | International Union of Immunological Societies

Himla Soodyall

South Africa | Academy of Science of South Africa

Natalia Tarasova

Russia | International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Renée van Kessel

Netherlands | ISC Treasurer


> See the nominations process

> Learn more about the ISC Awards

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