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ASE President launches £10 million Longitude Prize 2014 – Vote to solve one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time

22 May 2014

ASE President launches £10 million Longitude Prize 2014 – Vote to solve one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time

ASE President, Prof. Alice Roberts, will be the host of tonight’s Horizon programme on BBC Two to launch the public vote for the challenge that will be the focus of the Longitude Prize 2014.

The new £10 million prize aims to solve one of some of the greatest problems facing the world today. The new prize invites amateur scientists and the professional scientific community, to try and solve the winning challenge. Alice Roberts will introduce six nominated challenges, with the help of other science presenters including Michael Mosley, Liz Bonnin and Prof Iain Stewart, telling audiences why they are important and deserve to be the winning challenge. 

ASE’s new Chief Executive, Shaun Reason, was invited to the launch of the Longitude Prize 2014 at BBC on Monday. He comments “The prize’s launch brings science’s excitement and benefit to the public, but especially to teachers and young people. We need to inspire them to consider the exploration of new horizons.” 

Six Challenges 

The public vote will select one of six challenges to be solved:

  • Food - How can we ensure everyone has nutritious, sustainable food?
  • Dementia - How can we help people live independently for longer?
  • Flight - How can we fly without damaging the environment?
  • Water - How can we ensure everyone can have access to safe, clean water?
  • Paralysis - How can we restore movement to those with paralysis?
  • Antibiotics - How can we prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics? 

The vote takes place between 22 May and 25 June, and you can vote on the BBC Horizon website and by text. 

History of the Longitude Prize 

The Longitude Prize 2014 celebrates the 300 year anniversary of the marine innovations that revolutionized safe, long-distance travel by sea. Clockmaker, John Harrison’s invented the marine chronometer and astronomers perfected the instruments and astronomical tables necessary to navigate by the lunar distance method. Find out more 

The Prize’s launch also coincides with 50 year anniversary of Horizon, BBC Two’s flagship science programme. 

The Astronomer Royal and former ASE president, Lord Martin Rees, is the Chair of the Longitude Committee.