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New York Academy of Sciences announces Nobel Prize Essay Contest

January 07, 2005

Following a city-wide competition, three New York juniors are to be awarded a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend the celebrations surrounding the awarding of next year's Nobel Prizes - and New York is the only city in the world that will be afforded this honor.

The New York Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden in New York, (the official web site of the Nobel Foundation) and the New York City Department of Education, has announced the creation of a new science essay contest honoring the Nobel Awards and celebrating the scientific achievements recognized by these awards.

"The Laureates of Tomorrow - Nobel Essay Contest" is open to all juniors attending public, private, or parochial New York City high schools. Participants may submit an essay in one of three categories: Physics, Chemistry, or Physiology/Medicine. The essay question, designed by Academy staff and approved by a committee composed of NYC Board of Education representatives, encourages students to examine the impact of major scientific achievements by Nobel Prize winners on science and society. Three finalists will be selected for the final round of the competition, which will be held in May at the New York Academy of Sciences. Essays will be judged by a panel of Nobel Laureates and other scientific luminaries.

In June, three winners will be announced. The grand prize is an all-expense paid trip to Sweden to attend the Nobel Week Festivities in December 2005.

The new competition is representative of the Academy's new alliance with the Nobel Foundation's web team to further public awareness of the Nobel Prizes, Nobel Laureates, and the science behind the discoveries, especially among students and teachers in New York. In addition, the Academy's SciEduNet web site (, which offers students and teachers information about over 750 science programs in NY, will include information on more than 750 Nobel Prize winners and their contributions to science.

The Alliance will also encourage the city's science teachers and students to access the Foundation's award-winning multimedia, hands-on, interactive games and problem-solving exercises that use specific Nobel Prize-awarded work as a springboard for gaining a deeper understanding about the science behind the prizes.

"This initiative is an ideal collaboration that unites two prestigious scientific institutions with New York City's students, teachers and leaders of the Department of Education. The contest will achieve multiple goals: providing the public with a greater understanding of the Nobel prizes; fostering an appreciation of how scientific achievements have impacted our everyday lives; and bringing fun, excitement and excellence in science to our schools," said Ellis Rubinstein, President of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Julia Rankin, Director of Science of the NYC Department of Education, agreed that the contest reflects the fact that "New York is home to many outstanding scientists and scientific organizations. This partnership with and the NY Academy of Sciences offers a truly amazing opportunity for our students and is an honor for the New York City Department of Education. This is yet another example of the great resources and opportunities our city has to offer to aspiring scientists."

The Consul General of Sweden in New York, Ambassador Kjell Anneling, added, "If the contest leads to an increased knowledge about Sweden among New York high school students, then we will have succeeded in building bridges not only between generations, but also between countries." The Consulate is the official sponsor of the competition's grand prizes.

The idea of an essay contest was inspired by the Nobel monument located in Theodore Roosevelt Park, adjacent to the American Museum of Natural History. The monument, which honors Alfred Nobel and all American Nobel Laureates, was presented to the people of the city of New York in 2003. The monument project was initiated and overseen by the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The Consulate hopes that the essay contest will inspire students to achieve the level of accomplishment the Nobel Awards represent and someday have their names listed on the monument.
For more information, please contact Elizabeth Rodd, Program Manager, Education at 212-838-0230 ext. 503 or email

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide since 1817.

New York Academy of Sciences

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