Nottingham Professor joins all female winners of prestigious young scientist award

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

A Nottingham Professor has been recognised for her research into dark energy in the Universe with a young scientist award from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Professor Clare Burrage from the University of Nottingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded the Laureate in Physical Sciences & Engineering. This is the first time in the history of the Blavatnik Awards in the UK that all three Laureates are women scientists.

Now in its sixth year, the Awards are the largest unrestricted prize available to UK scientists aged 42 or younger. Internationally recognised among the scientific community, the Blavatnik Awards are instrumental in expanding the engagement and recognition of young scientists, and are providing the support and encouragement needed to drive scientific innovation for the next generation.

Looking at the universe, galaxies are beginning to fly apart from one another with ever increasing speed. Whilst the explanation for this observation is almost unknown, nearly all attempts at an explanation introduce - dark energy. Professor Burrage examines cosmology, dark energy, modified gravity, and new physics. She was recognised for theoretical predictions that have guided the development of entirely new experiments to probe the nature of dark energy—one of the biggest challenges in modern cosmology—in a compact, laboratory setting.

I’m incredibly honoured to receive this award. It has been so exciting to see the power of small-scale laboratory experiments to shed light on fundamental cosmological mysteries. I feel very lucky to have worked with many wonderful colleagues, both at Nottingham and around the world, to develop new ways of testing cosmological theories and I look forward to seeing how this community of researchers continues to grow.
Professor Clare Burrage, School of Physic and Astronomy

“I am proud to recognise and support these outstanding young scientists,” said Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. “Their pioneering research leads the way for future discoveries that will improve the world and benefit all humankind,” Blavatnik said. 

Professor Nicholas B. Dirks, President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council noted, “From our former Academy leaders, eminent academics including Charlotte Friend and Margaret Mead, to other renowned Academy members over the years such as Marie Curie, Barbara McClintock, Rosalyn Yallow and Gertrude Elion, our Academy has always supported the representation and success of women in science. We are accordingly so very proud to see these three women scientists named as the 2023 Laureates. On behalf of the Academy, we are delighted to administer the Blavatnik Awards in the UK in its sixth year and pleased to see new UK institutions represented among this year’s honoured institutions.”

The 2023 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates and Finalists will be honoured at a black-tie gala dinner and award ceremony at Banqueting House in Whitehall, London, on 28th February 2023.

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Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager Science
Phone: 0115 7486462

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About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

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The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

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