Submissions invited for Mani Bhaumik prize for excellence in astronomy

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Berlin, October 16 (ANI): The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) is soliciting nominations and submissions for the IYA2009/Mani Bhaumik Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach.

Thousands of astronomy education and public outreach events are taking place in all countries and organizations participating in the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) throughout 2009.

While it is impossible to acknowledge all the activities that have taken place in 2009 and all those who have made them possible, an IYA2009 Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach has been established to reward some of the most interesting IYA2009 projects and activities.

The Prize will reward a person, project, organization or institution that has made a major contribution towards improving public awareness of astronomical achievements, and stimulating the use of astronomy for the promotion of scientific education and culture at large in 2009.

"This prize will recognize the millions of people who are involved in the public understanding and engagement of science, technology and astronomy. It's a great honor to support the IYA2009, which has helped society at large to better understand the mysteries of the Universe and reassess our place in it," said Mani Bhaumik, who led the development of the excimer laser technology that eventually made Lasik eye operations possible.

Dr. Mani Bhaumik is an Indian-born physicist, author, lecturer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Anyone who is involved with IYA2009 activities is eligible for the prize, including astronomers, amateur astronomers, enthusiasts, communicators, educators, any collaborative teams in existence at the time of application, and any others who have made an outstanding contribution to education and/or public communication of astronomy via any medium or activity, during IYA2009.

Works in any of the languages of the IYA2009 National Nodes will be also considered, showing the international scope of the prize.

The total sum awarded is 6500 Euros, divided into three prizes, with a winner (3500 Euros) and two runners-up (1500 Euros/each).

The results will be announced by the end of January 2010.

The prizes will be delivered to the winner and runners-up during the Gala Dinner at the Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2010 Conference in March 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The winner will be invited to be present and to give a keynote talk on this occasion. (ANI)

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