The finalists each had the chance to give presentations on their submissions at a day long conference at Edinburgh University. The announcement marked the long awaited culmination of a difficult selection and judging process.
The award, which is part of the ESF’s EUROCORES programme, was aimed at creating a space for promising young researchers to join established scholars from across the scientific and philosophical community and bring their work to a wider audience.
Edinburgh’s own PHD student Dave Ward, and Hong Yu Wong from University College London, were selected as joint winners and each received €1500 for their submissions. Only six out of the total of 44 submissions were eventually shortlisted for the competition. The final six candidates were chosen for the unique contribution they are making to the understanding of consciousness, and all papers will be published in a forthcoming edition of Psyche.
Hong Yu Wong presented a paper on bodily experience and human agency, which examined the crucial role of bodily awareness in the control of action. The paper drew on empirical and conceptual knowledge to demonstrate human agency depends on embodied consciousness.
“It is very nice to win this prize and a big help for my career,” Hong Yu said. "More importantly this was a very interesting competition because it celebrates this kind of interdisciplinary approach and gave us junior scholars an opportunity to interact with and get feedback from established professionals."
Dave Ward’s paper focused on how our knowledge of colour facilitates human action in the world. Dave’s view is that our ability to distinguish colour is a function of how we sort information in our consciousness in order to “sift, sort and track” our perceptions and act accordingly.
“This is a really great honour,” said Dave. “To be chosen from such a talented group of entrants is great, and it was good to have a chance to get some top feedback on my work.”
Following the announcement of the prize-winners, Professor Andy Clark, from Edinburgh University, commented on the quality of talent on show at the conference, and predicted a promising future for a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to understanding consciousness.
“Interdisciplinary studies of the mind are becoming more and more important,” he said. “Encouraging young scholars like this who are truly empirically informed, interdisciplinary, and excited about the mind – bringing them together and showing them that they can do things like this – I think is incredibly important.He emphasised that EUROCORES is an essential form of support for helping young research talent make the move into serious cutting edge scholarship.
He continued: “The European Science Foundation is doing a very good job of supporting that. It is just an exciting time to be studying the mind and a therefore a great time to get young scholars interested.”
The idea for the essay prize was born out of an attempt by those working on the EUROCORES programme to allow young researchers an opportunity to present their work to the international academic community. The programme is run by senior scholars in the field and brings together the world’s leading minds in the exploration of human consciousness. Projects across Europe aim to form a complete understanding of mind from both a social and cultural perspective, as well a conceptual and scientific one.
Despite the fact that this work is highly specialised and involves pioneering work at a high level, a lot of the research is carried out by students at PHD level. These young scholars explore detailed conceptual problems and carry out experiments and investigations in crucial areas. Organisers of the EUROCORES programme were conscious of the vital role these contributions make to the overall goal of understanding consciousness. The essay prize aims to recognise this work, and the rich pool of talent that forms the basis of an exciting global project to unravel the mysteries of the mind.
Professor Clark added that an award like this can also help to recognise the powerful contribution graduates are already making to international cutting edge research in the science of consciousness.
He added: “One thing that we have seen here is just how much serious, first author work is being done, by people whose names you probably won’t see in published journals for a few years yet, but who are certainly going to be at the forefront of the next generation.”
Thomas Lau | alfa
A gene activated in infant and young brains determines learning capacity in adulthood
13.11.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
The Maturation Pattern of the Hippocampus Drives Human Memory Deve
23.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences