High-quality communication of scientific and other forms of scholarly thought is a central aspect of a well-informed, democratic society. Ideas from these domains, while very relevant to daily life, can also be complex and are often misrepresented through the media. This is especially true in academic fields with broad public appeal such as contemplative science. 

Recent decades have seen a dramatic rise in public interest around contemplative practices (e.g., meditation, mindfulness, yoga, etc.), driven largely by scientific investigation of these practices and their benefit for individuals and society. The primary way that most people learn about contemplative research findings is through the media; however, pressures on major media outlets can often lead to over-simplification, hype, and mis-interpretation of this research. 

The Mind & Life Award for Public Communication of Contemplative Research encourages dissemination of nuanced and accurate insights from contemplative research to a broad audience. The program will reward excellent public-facing communication pieces about contemplative research that stand out in their ability to clearly convey scientific and scholarly ideas. This award is intended 1) to foster communication skills in the contemplative research community, and 2) to provide the public with interesting, accurate, and clear information that is relevant to their lives. 

The program takes the form of a contest, inviting new public communications pieces (such as essays, explainer videos, podcasts) from scholars in our community that describe key findings or ideas from contemplative research for a broad audience. The winning pieces will be shared widely through our network, giving the awardee—and the ideas they’re communicating—enhanced visibility. Winners will also receive a $1,000 cash prize.

This award is open to all current and past recipients of a Mind & Life research grant. For more information and application details, see the Request for Applications.

Application Period: April 1–June 17, 2022