Roberto Burioni assigned the Asimov Award 2017 by the Gran Sasso Science Institute
The Asimov Award is an annual recognition set up in 2016 by Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) in L’Aquila in order to disseminate scientific culture in Italy. The prize is awarded to books of science dissemination published in Italy during the previous year.
The award is inspired to the Royal Society Science Books Prize and the Galileo Book Award for science dissemination of Padua, and is open to all authors of books focused on a scientific topic published for the first time and addressed to a non-expert audience. The award is dedicated to Isaac Asimov, writer, scientist, and excellent scientific disseminator.
The objective is to involve and bring students closer to science, telling informally about the most up-to-date issues of scientific research through the best dissemination works recently published, as well as to encourage the development of a critical and rational approach towards reality.
Besides the schools of Abruzzo involved in the first edition of the award, schools from Puglia and Sardinia participated too, thanks to collaboration of the Lecce and Cagliari sections of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), the Department of Mathematics and Physics “E. De Giorgi” of the University of Salento, jointly with the Gran Sasso National Laboratories and the universities of L'Aquila, Lecce and Cagliari.
This year a jury, which included over 1400 Italian students, awarded the prize to the book entitled “Il vaccino non è un’opinione” by physician and immunologist Roberto Burioni, who followed British chemist and disseminator Peter Atkins, winner of last year’s edition with the book “Che cos’è la chimica?”.
Immunologist, researcher and Full Professor of Microbiology and Virology at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University of Milan, Roberto Burioni is known to the large public for his dissemination activity, carried out especially via his Facebook page, to defend scientific truth about vaccines and against anti-vaccine theses.
“This award is a surprise to me and a joy – said Roberto Burioni – A surprise because one year ago I didn’t know I was able to write about and communicate science; a joy because this is a prestigious prize and especially because the book was voted by students of secondary schools, who are the future of our country”.
“The reason why I wrote this book – continued Burioni – is because I looked at the future, when they will be the main characters, and I imagined a safer world thanks to vaccination and especially to a society where the truth and science triumph over falsity and superstition, where people who work humbly to improve themselves are respected: a world where today’s young people can create jobs and education by committing themselves”, concluded the author.
During the ceremony, the scientific committee has awarded 15 students for each region among those who provided the best reviews.
The initiative is supported by Regione Abruzzo, Accademia dei Lincei, Italian Physical Society (SIF), Italian Society on General Relativity and Gravitation (SIGRAV), University of Cagliari and Italian Committee for the Control of Pseuscience Statements (CICAP). The awarding ceremony took place in Lecce within the “Lecce Città del Libro 2017” project.