Lecturer wins prestigious writing prize

Published: 25 July 2023

A University of Glasgow lecturer has been presented with an eminent Association of British Science Writers award.

A photo of Dr Azadeh Emadi

A University of Glasgow lecturer has been given an Association of British Science Writers award for her article on Covid and the deafblind community.

Dr Azadeh Emadi of the School of Culture & Creative Arts was awarded the Dr Katharine Giles Award for best popular article written by a scientist or engineer.

Dr Emadi's piece was published in The Conversation UK and was titled "The magic of touch: how deafblind people taught us to ‘see’ the world differently during COVID, Insights".

Judges for the ABSW 2023 Awards, said:"An accomplished piece on a deeply multi-disciplinary topic. Deploying multiple techniques, deftly woven together, Emadi draws the reader in and humanises her own research on how the deafblind community experienced the pandemic."

The Touch Post-Covid 19 project – involving Arts and Quantum Technologies researchers at the University of Glasgow – is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the UK Research and Innovation rapid response to Covid-19. The project is part of the University’s ARC (Advanced Research Centre).

Dr Emadi said: "One of the challenging aspects of writing this article was to keep our deafblind participants' stories and their voices in the driving seat while discussing important technological interventions.

"I was hoping this article would raise awareness about the deafblind community, their struggles (particularly during COVID-19) and the significant contributions they can make to the wider society with the potential to enrich our experiences more holistically. To scientists and researchers, I was hoping this article would highlight how developing an interdisciplinary research method centred on close and trusting communication with a community (or impacted individuals) can lead to innovative and potentially impactful solutions.

 "I believe there is a power in storytelling that, when rightly interwoven into scholarly and scientific discussions, can have transformative impacts on their readers. I hope to continue to learn to listen and tell stories in an impactful and transformative way."

First published: 25 July 2023