2016 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science Recipient

Suzi Gage

Suzi Gage is honored with the 2016 AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science for her generous public engagement activities that center on evidence-based approaches with the potential to build long-term critical thinking skills in her audiences.

Suzi Gage is a psychologist and epidemiologist at the University of Liverpool interested in understanding the associations between recreational substance use and mental health. Since the beginning of her PhD in 2010, Suzi has used her free time to challenge bad science in the media, promote evidence-based thinking, and more recently, has created a new resource providing evidence-based information about the effects of recreational drugs.

She writes a science blog for the Guardian newspaper’s website, and frequently gives public lectures and talks. In 2016 she launched podcast “Say Why to Drugs” with rapper and actor Scroobius Pip, discussing the scientific evidence around the effects of recreational drugs, busting myths that exist around them, and discussing the harms but also potential benefits of the substances. Suzi completed her PhD at the University of Bristol in 2014, which used a large birth cohort to look at associations between cannabis and cigarette use, and psychosis and depression.

Suzi captured her experience receiving the award in a Feb. 27, 2017, Research Councils UK blog post, "How engaging the public with science saw UK early career academic win renowned AAAS award."

AAAS’s First Endowed Award

As issues at the interface of science and society—from disease research to global climate change, evolution, human embryonic stem cell research, neuroscience, and others—take on increasing importance, the Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science seeks to encourage efforts to promote interactive dialogue between scientists and non-scientific, public audiences. By highlighting and celebrating successful examples of public engagement, AAAS and our partners aim to communicate the importance of such efforts and create models for other scientists and engineers.

AAAS is grateful to Bob and Margee Hazen for their vision in initiating this award and for their generous gifts to establish the endowment that funds it. We also wish to acknowledge Bruce and Betty Alberts, Alan and Agnes Leshner, David Evans Shaw, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Noyce Foundation for their leadership support, as well as the many others who made contributions to make this award a reality.