French astrophysicist and cosmologist Jean-Pierre Luminet to receive UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science

French scientist and author Jean-Pierre Luminet will be awarded the 2021 UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. The prize-giving ceremony will take place online on 5 November as part of the celebration of World Science Day for Peace and Development.

An independent international jury selected Jean-Pierre Luminet recognizing his longstanding commitment to the popularization of science. Mr Luminet is a distinguished astrophysicist and cosmologist who has been promoting the values of scientific research through a wide variety of media: he has created popular science books and novels, beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogues, poetry, audiovisual materials for children and documentaries, notably “Du Big Bang au vivant” with Hubert Reeves. He is also an artist, engraver and sculptor and has collaborated with composers on musicals inspired by the sounds of the Universe.

His publications are model examples for communicating science to the public. Their scientific content is precise, rigorous and always state-of-the-art. He has written seven “scientific novels”, including “Le Secret de Copernic”, published in 2006. His recent book “Le destin de l’univers : trous noirs et énergie sombre”, about black holes and dark energy, was written for the general public and was praised for its outstanding scientific, historical, and literary qualities. Jean-Pierre Luminet’s work has been translated into a many languages including Chinese and Korean.

The UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science was created by UNESCO 70 years ago to reward outstanding contributions in communicating science and technology to society. It was originally established thanks to a donation by Bijoyananda Patnaik, the Founding President of the Kalinga Foundation Trust of India. Awarded every two years, the Prize is now sponsored by the Government of India through the Department of Science and Technology, and the Odisha State Government. The laureate will receive a $40,000 prize, a diploma and the UNESCO Albert Einstein Medal.


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