British Library project awarded new accolade

A digital project that showcases the lives of remarkable British scientists has won a second prestigious accolade.

‘Voices of Science’,  created by a team including Dr Sally Horrocks from the School of History has been awarded the Ayrton Prize, after a vote by members of the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS). This new prize, being awarded for the first time recognises outstanding web projects and digital engagement in the history of science, technology and medicine.

‘Voices of Science’ is a website that marks the culmination of a major oral history project by the British Library to gather the life stories of British scientists. Dr Horrocks has been senior academic consultant to the project since 2011 and helped to develop the website, taking responsibility for much of the written content as well as advising on the selection of audio and video content.

The project beat six shortlisted entries, ranging from virtual exhibitions to blogs and digitisation projects, showing what is possible on both large and small budgets.

BSHS outreach and Education Chair, Jamie Stark said: “The project breaks new ground in charting the lives of practicing scientists and opens a gateway to a new generation of research and engagement.

“The site itself is well-crafted and slick, and makes the most of the resources available. Amongst a really excellent shortlist which included other innovative and engaging projects, ‘Voices of Science’ is a worthy winner.”

Dr Horrocks said ‘The project team is delighted to receive this recognition from the history of science community.  Historians of science have produced many excellent web resources in recent years and we are thrilled that our contribution has been chosen for this award.’

The title for the Ayrton Prize was chosen by members of the BSHS from a shortlist and recognises the major contribitions of Hertha Ayrton (1854-1923) to numerous scientific fields, especially electrical engineering and mathematics.This is the second prize that the project has recently won. Last month the Royal Historical Society announced ‘Voices of Science’ as the winner of the Web & Digital category in its first Public History Prizes. Read more about the award and project here.