Nuno Maulide was elected Scientist of the Year by the Austrian Club of Education and Science Journalists. “I am honoured by this distinction, especially to be recognised as a communicator of research, namely the one we have been doing in our laboratory, in Viena”, says the Técnico alumnus.
The “scientist of the year” is elected by 150 members of the Austrian Club of Education and Science Journalists, representing the main media outlets in Austria. It is the first time that a Portuguese and a chemist receive this distinction. “The Austrian Federal Ministry of Science called me to congratulate me . Even the Austrian Federal President, Alexander van der Bellen, congratulated me on Twitter”, said Nuno Maulide.
At the age of 39, Nuno Maulide has a consolidated career in teaching and research. The full professor at the University of Vienna is a recognised expert in Organic Chemistry. According to Eva Stanzl, president of the Austrian Club of Education and Science Journalists, “Nuno Maulide is a scientist who dedicates himself strongly and with great commitment to the dissemination of his work”. “It is our duty, as scientists, to disseminate our work in a way that non-experts can understand and to make them want to know more. Science is fascinating and it is up to us, researchers, to make people follow our passion”, said Nuno Maulide.
Since he arrived in Vienna, 5 years ago, Nuno Maulide’s major priority has been to strengthen the link between science and society: “More than 650 children attended 2 lectures; we went to a less privileged area of the city and we did chemistry experiments with children and adults; several school groups visit us at the Institute of Organic Chemistry. We always try to communicate what we do in an accessible and intuitive way”. Nuno Maulide is aware of the key role of digital technologies, so he joined a national awareness-raising campaign to increase young people’s engagement with chemistry and created 6 videos on YouTube about the basic concepts of chemistry, which has reached more than 100,000 views.
According to Nuno Maulide, an award gives people strength “to do more and better” – for any scientist, regardless of age, there is always much to learn and to discover!”. “I hope that the young scientists who graduate in Portugal feel that what they learn in the university is of great quality and doesn’t fall short of international universities”.
The Austrian Club of Education and Science Journalists created the “Scientist of the Year” award 25 years ago, which aims to reward researchers working in Austria who have rendered outstanding services to the comprehensible communication of their work, “thus promoting scientific culture among the general public”, as stated in the press release.