Stellenbosch University recently published its New Voices in Science 2014 periodical which showcases the finalists of its annual science communication competition. Recently graduated PhD student Matthew Zylstra (and coordinator of eyes4earth.org) was a finalist in both in the science writing and science photography categories.
Matthew’s photo of “Child and Mantis” was chosen as the front cover image for the publication. The judges commented that the photo:
“…beautifully captures the observer and the observed, while the relationship and power dynamics between these two remain open to interpretation.”
The prize money awarded to Matthew for this photo was donated to Maranatha Streetworkers Trust in Port Elizabeth, the non-profit organization acting as the legal guardian for the photographed child.
In his Forward to the New Voices in Science 2014 publication, Stellenbosch University Vice-Rector Prof. Eugene Cloete quotes Matthew when he writes:
“Researchers in a democratic society have an obligation to share their knowledge. As one of this year’s participants noted, ‘…to communicate one’s knowledge is to share the power of that knowledge’. I would venture to add that research only acquires real value and meaning once it has been shared.”
eyes4earth.org wholeheartedly supports responsible science communication and was indeed founded with these ideals in mind in pursuing its aim of communicating the science of meaningful nature experience, nature connection and sustainability education.