Louis de Broglie, first recipient of the Kalinga Prize.

The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an award given by UNESCO for exceptional skill in presenting scientific ideas to lay people. It was created in 1952, following a donation from Biju Patnaik, Founder President of the Kalinga Foundation Trust[1] in India.


The recipient of this annual award must have demonstrated – during a brilliant career as writer, editor, lecturer, film producer, radio/television programme director or presenter – talent in interpreting science and technology for the public. The recipient should have striven to emphasize the international importance of science and technology and the contribution they make to improving public welfare, enriching the cultural heritage of nations, and solving problems facing humanity. Many past prize winners have been scientists, while others have been trained in journalism or have been educators or writers.

Each member state is entitled to nominate a single candidate, through its National Commission for UNESCO, on the recommendation of the national associations for the advancement of science or other science associations, or national associations of science writers or science journalists. Applications from individuals are not accepted.

The laureate is selected by the Director-General of UNESCO upon the recommendation of a four-member jury designated by him. Three members of the jury from different countries of the world are designated on the basis of equitable geographical distribution and the fourth on the recommendation of the Kalinga Foundation Trust.

The Kalinga Prize is awarded during the Celebration of the World Science Day in odd years (2003, 2005, etc.) and in New Delhi, India, in even years. Under the terms of the Prize, the recipient receives forty thousand dollars (US$40,000) and a UNESCO Albert Einstein Silver Medal. The recipient is also awarded the Ruchi Ram Sahni Chair, introduced by the Government of India in 2001 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kalinga Prize. As holder of the Ruchi Ram Sahni Chair, the winner travels to India for a period of two to four weeks as the guest of the Government of India. The Chair also comprises a token honorarium of US$5,000. In the years when the award ceremony take place during the celebration of the World Science Day, the recipient travels to the city where the science day is being celebrated (2003 in Budapest) as the guest of UNESCO. In the years when it is awarded in New Delhi, the recipient is invited, as the guest of the Kalinga Foundation Trust, to undertake a brief lecture tour in India. For this reason, it is preferable that the recipient be proficient in English.

Each National Commission for UNESCO proposes a candidate only on the recommendation of the national associations for the advancement of science or other science associations, or national associations of science writers or scientific journalists.

The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is administered by the Science Analysis and Policies Division of UNESCO.

Kalinga Prize laureates

Source: UNESCO

Year Recipient Country
1952 Louis de Broglie  France
1953 Julian Huxley  United Kingdom
1954 Waldemar Kaempffert  United States
1955 Augusto Pi Sunyer [es]  Venezuela
1956 George Gamow  United States
1957 Bertrand Russell  United Kingdom
1958 Karl von Frisch  Germany
1959 Jean Rostand  France
1960 Ritchie Calder  United Kingdom
1961 Arthur C. Clarke  United Kingdom
1962 Gerard Piel  United States
1963 Jagjit Singh  India
1964 Warren Weaver  United States
1965 Eugene Rabinowitch  United States
1966 Paul Couderc  France
1967 Fred Hoyle  United Kingdom
1968 Gavin de Beer  United Kingdom
1969 Konrad Lorenz  Austria
1970 Margaret Mead  United States
1971 Pierre Victor Auger  France
1972 Philip H. Abelson
Nigel Calder
 United States
 United Kingdom
1973 no award
1974 José Reis
Luis Estrada Martínez [es]
1975 no award
1976 George Porter
Alexander Oparin
 United Kingdom
 Soviet Union
1977 Fernand Seguin  Canada
1978 Hoimar von Ditfurth  Germany
1979 Sergei Kapitza  Soviet Union
1980 Arístides Bastidas  Venezuela
1981 David Attenborough
Dennis Flanagan
 United Kingdom
 United States
1982 Oswaldo Frota-Pessoa  Brazil
1983 Abdullah Al Muti Sharafuddin  Bangladesh
1984 Yves Coppens
Igor Petryanov [ru]
 Soviet Union
1985 Peter Medawar  United Kingdom
1986 Nicolai G. Basov
David Suzuki
 Soviet Union
1987 Marcel Roche  Venezuela
1988 Björn Kurtén  Finland
1989 Saad Ahmed Shabaan  Egypt
1990 Misbah-Ud-Din Shami  Pakistan
1991 Radu Iftimovici
Narender K. Sehgal
1992 Jorge Flores Valdés [es]
Peter Okebukola
1993 Piero Angela  Italy
1994 Nikolai N. Drozdov  Russia
1995 Julieta Norma Fierro Gossman  Mexico
1996 Jiří Grygar
Jayant V. Narlikar
 Czech Republic
1997 Dorairajan Balasubramanian  India
1998 Regina Paz Lopez
Ennio Candotti
1999 Marian Ewurama Addy
Emil Gabrielian
2000 Ernst W. Hamburger  Brazil
2001 Stefano Fantoni  Italy
2002 Marisela Salvatierra  Venezuela
2003 Pervez Hoodbhoy  Pakistan
2004 Jean Audouze  France
2005 Jeter Bertoletti [pt]  Brazil
2006–2008 No awards due to change of UNESCO rules
2009 Yash Pal
Trinh Xuan Thuan
2011 René Raúl Drucker Colín  Mexico
2013 Xiangyi Li  China
2015 Diego Golombek  Argentina
2017 Erik Jacquemyn[2]  Belgium
2019 Karl Kruszelnicki[3]  Australia
2021 Jean-Pierre Luminet[4]  France
2023 Ana María Cetto[5]  Mexico


By 2021 the prize had been awarded to 71 people from 26 countries:

Country No. of Awards
United Kingdom 10 times
USA 8 times
France 7 times
India 5 times
Russia (inc. Soviet Union) 5 times
Venezuela 4 times
Pakistan 2 times
Argentina 1 time
Czech Republic

Kalinga Samman

From 2010, the Kalinga Foundation Trust instituted a state level prize under the name Kalinga Samman for Popularization of Science. The award will be presented annually to an eminent scientist and science litterateur from the state of Odisha for outstanding contribution for popularization of science among the public.[6][7]

Kalinga Samman laureates

Source: Kalinga Samman

Year Recipient
2010 Chitta Ranjan Mishra
Pramod Kumar Mohapatra
2011 Gokulananda Mahapatra
2012 Basanta Kumar Behura
2013 Hara Prasanna Mishra
2014 Trilochan Pradhan
2015 Prafulla Kumar Jena
2016 Dwijesh Kumar Panda
2017 Jnanadeva Maharana
2018 Birendra Kishore Das
2019 Nimai Charan Panda

See also


  1. ^ "Kalinga Foundation Trust". kalingafoundationtrust.com. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  2. ^ "Belgian scientist Erik Jacquemyn to receive UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science". UNESCO. October 25, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Ryan, Claudine (November 20, 2019). "Dr Karl wins UNESCO prize for turning generations on to science". ABC News. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  4. ^ "French astrophysicist and cosmologist Jean-Pierre Luminet to receive UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science". April 11, 2021. Archived from the original on November 8, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  5. ^ "Ana María Cetto's dedication to science outreach earns her UNESCO–Kalinga Prize". UNESCO. November 9, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  6. ^ "Kalinga Samman". Kalinga Foundation Trust. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  7. ^ "Kalinga Samman awarded". The Telegraph. Retrieved September 30, 2022.