"It is my pleasure to inform you that theWeather Club is the winner of the EMS Outreach & Communication Award 2011. The Award will be presented during the Media Session of the 11th EMS Annual Meeting and 10th European Conference on Applications of Meteorology (ECAM), in Berlin, Germany."
When this e-mail from the European Meteorological Society (EMS) dropped into our inbox, it came as a rather nice surprise to discover that this eminent pan European organisation thought that we at theWeather Club had been reaching out and communicating rather well. The EMS is a European organisation providing a forum for spreading information and facilitating discussions on issues connected with the world of the climate sciences. The Society's main focus is to encourage and support scientific exchange within the European context. The society places a particular emphasis on enhancing the role of meteorology within European society, considering how to efficiently and competently inform the public, and raising awareness about the relevance of the meteorological profession.
The committee's citation read: "theWeather presents a novel and exciting way of communicating the science of meteorology and its impact on society to the general public. It relates weather to common activities and subjects such as culture and sport, and in this way tackles the challenge of bringing the science of meteorology into the realm of people's daily life. The timeliness and importance of the theWeather Club's attempt to tackle the difficult subject of the interface between climate and weather cannot be appreciated enough – this is a crucial issue in communicating climate change to any non-scientific audience."
So last week - 11th September to be precise – the founder of theWeather Club, Dr Liz Bentley, hopped on a plane to the glamorous byways of Berlin to pick up the award on behalf of a proud and happy staff. "It was a great honour to be able to collect this award on behalf of a team of people who made theWeather magazine possible," Dr Bentley said. "The magazine is something we are so proud of and it's been incredible to hear all the positive feedback from our readers."
So in the most un-British of ways, we have decided to give ourselves a small pat on the back. It has been hard but enjoyable work over the last year, and it is nice to see that work rewarded in this way. We also take it as a nod to our members, whose hard earned cash and insightful comments have helped to move the whole project forward and who we see as a vital part of this whole enterprise.
Also a personal thank you from us to Liz for lugging the award back to Blighty after the festivities were over - it was so impressive (i.e. big) that she feared that they might not let her take it on to the plane. Thankfully they did, now the only thing left to do is to decide which shelf to reinforce.