Mission & vision
SciMingo believes that scientific research is the driving force of progress and is essential to meeting present and future challenges, from the current coronavirus pandemic, to the climate crisis, to sustainable food supply. But to continue to fuel scientific progress, science must enjoy the widest popular trust and support.
SciMingo aims to support scientists to help them communicate to the public to the maximum extent possible. We want to make research and its importance clearer to the general public; to help make the results of research and scientific insights more accessible, thus helping to strengthen interest in and support for science in society.
SciMingo upholds the following values
OPEN AND TRANSPARENT
Coordinator - PhD Cup & WU/SFO project manager
📞 0032 472 52 03 44
A look at our history
SciMingo is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation actively involved in science communication. The organisation's story begins in 2002 when the Pascal Decroos Fund for Journalism (FPD) launches the Flemish Thesis Prize, a competition to find good dissertations by young graduates. The aim: to bring these strong works to the attention of journalists and - through their publications - the general public.
Open access avant-la-lettre
When this initiative starts to grow in 2005, the Thesis Prize is transferred to a new, independent organisation, which is called Scriptie vzw. The Flemish Government decides to include the organisation as a structural partner in the Science Communication Policy. In the period 2005-2015, Scriptie vzw steadily expands the Flemish Thesis Prize. By entering into partnerships with Klasse, Agoria, Eos and Metro, the Flemish Dissertation Award was given more body and with the Flemish Thesis Bank, Scriptie vzw launched a platform where everyone could/can consult all submitted theses for free. "Open access" avant-la-lettre.
The launch of the Vlaamse ScriptieKrant, a free publication on newsworthy submissions of more than 120,000 copies, increased the name recognition of the Thesis Award, so that nowadays some 500 to 600 graduates take part in the competition. By concentrating more on cooperation with the press, more and more theses found their way to a journalistic publication. The competition grew into an established value in the academic world, so the time was ripe to broaden our horizons.
Are there any doctors in the room?
In 2016, Scriptie vzw entered a new phase: from now on, in addition to bachelor's and master's theses, our organisation would also popularize and promote doctoral research to the general public via the Flemish PhD Cup. Here, we focus more than in other existing projects on the guidance and coaching of researchers. Moreover, with the PhD Cup we also broadened our approach: whereas we work with texts via the Flemish Thesis Prize and therefore mainly focus on the traditional written press, the format of the PhD Cup is somewhat more multimedia. The project allows PhD students to present their research briefly orally, which lends itself more to audio/radio and video/television. It heralded the beginning of our collaboration with VRT. In 2019 Scriptie vzw received the Wablieft Prize for the project, a nice recognition that goes to a person or organisation that uses clear language or encourages others to do so.
The launch and success of the Flemish PhD Cup also made it clear that junior researchers in Flanders are very interested in scientific communication, but that there is also a great demand for adequate guidance in order to learn to translate their research for the general public. This led Scriptie vzw to start up Wetenschap Uitgedokterd / Science Figured Out in 2018, two years after the launch of the PhD Cup, in order to be able to assist more PhD students and postdocs. The project also meant a new expansion: from now on Scriptie vzw also supported English-speaking researchers and managed an English video platform.
In 2021, a new and important step will be taken in the further professionalisation of the organisation. The name "Scriptie vzw" no longer covers the load and will be exchanged for SciMingo, a contraction of Science & Flamingo. With this name, we clearly emphasise our intention to support young researchers. For a researcher, science communication is a real balancing act: a scientist wants to be as complete and nuanced as possible, while the public expects short(er) and direct communication. SciMingo helps researchers to find the right balance - how to address the public without denying themselves or their research. Like accomplished flamingos, masters of balance. How the story continues to evolve in the years to come, you can continue to discover via this website.