In this first year of the Programme to promote Scientific Communication, a total of 114 nominations were received for the Awards and 137 applications for the Grants. The outbreak of COVID-10 revealed the need to reinforce the dissemination of validated knowledge to the general public, both through conventional media and the new digital channels and formats. Since the start of the pandemic, scientific information has become increasingly sought after by the general public.
The jury also pointed out that all the award-winning scientists, including Dr. Antoni Trilla, “stood out due to their ability to successfully combine their work as researchers with the dissemination of knowledge and, faced with the challenge of the pandemic, they committed themselves to informing the public through their constant participation in the main print media, radio and television stations.” Moreover, the jury concluded that the award winners “used different formats and narratives to communicate with wider audiences. They were able to give priority to the need to inform the public in the most truthful and accurate way possible in such a unique, changing and highly uncertain context.”
Dr. Antoni Trilla is a professor of Public Health at the University of Barcelona, head of the Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Service at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Barcelona. He is a research professor at ISGlobal (Barcelona Institute for Global Health), where his group carries out research into vaccines, emerging infectious diseases and epidemics. During the pandemic, his presence in the media has been constant, in particular in the La Vanguardia newspaper, for which he has written around 150 articles over the last few months. “Being able to public a daily column first of all, and secondly a weekly column, is a privilege very few academics are able to enjoy,” affirmed Dr. Trilla, who wanted to “explain that science and scientific evidence are the only way to tackle the coronavirus.” He has also published articles or been the source of reports in other media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Le Figaro. Recently, Dr. Trilla was nominated Academic Elect of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Catalonia.