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The Science Media Centre, London, wins the 2012 ECNP Media Award

The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2012 ECNP Media Award is the Science Media Centre, London. The ECNP Media Award recognises outstanding contributions to destigmatising disorders of the brain. Awarded in 2012 for the first time, it will be presented annually, and is accompanied by a prize of 5,000.

The ECNP Media Award was established to celebrate the achievements of those who promote a better understanding of the complexity and impact of disorders of the brain, stimulate discussion, and challenge stereotypes and stigma. Preference is given to work that highlights the connection with scientific research and helps to make the science of disorders of the brain accessible to a wide audience.

ECNP President Joseph Zohar said, "I am delighted that the Science Media Centre is the winner. The Science Media Centre is a model for how science can inform the public, facilitate public debate and enrich policy-making. Through its media relations activities, and especially its highly influential news briefings, the Centre has been extremely successful in spreading the knowledge and ensuring that science is made real and relevant for millions of people. The Science Media Centre manages to 'translate' the extraordinary advances being made every day in scientific research to the public in a direct and tangible way. Hence, the Science Media Centre is an ideal recipient of ECNP's first ever Media Award."

Julien Mendlewicz, ECNP Award Committee chairman, said, "The committee was especially impressed by the Centre's commitment to mental health. By ensuring that the media is supplied with accurate and unbiased data about disorders of the brain, their social consequences, and the science that underlies them, the Centre has made significant contributions to destigmatising disorders of the brain. Although based in London and focused on the UK media market, the Centre's prestige and the networks it has built have earned it an international audience."

Claire Bithell, Head of Mental Health at the Science Media Centre, said, "As well as ensuring that the media has easy access to the very best experts when covering mental health stories, the Science Media Centre has also worked hard to put the incredible research in this field under a much greater media spotlight. This award is shared with all those courageous researchers who have agreed to put their heads above the parapet and engage with the media on the most controversial of issues and the great science journalists who have reported their work prominently and responsibly."

The award will be presented at the welcome ceremony of the 25th ECNP Congress on 13-17 October in Vienna, Austria.

Contact: Ligia Bohn
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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