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Murray awarded for combining science, communication

Vashlishan MurrayAmy Vashlishan Murray, assistant professor of science in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, has won the third annual Paul Shin Award from the Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) in Washington, DC, which “honors the unsung heroes of science communication and engagement,” the institution announced on September 29.

COPUS praised Vashlishan Murray’s ongoing neurobiology research work at Massachusetts General Hospital, and recognized “that she’s uniquely situated—she’s interfacing with young talent in communication and art and with cutting-edge science.”

“With a seemingly boundless energy,” COPUS said in an article on its website, “she’s capitalized on her situation to create innovative synergies that enhance the public’s understanding of science.”

COPUS particularly praised Vashlishan Murray for launching Emerson’s Ask for Evidence campaign, which empowers students across academic disciplines to question the science they encounter in their daily lives—such as product claims in commercials.

“I am driven by the belief that the role and responsibility of the scientist includes anticipating the social impact of development in her field,” Vashlishan Murray said, “and striving to develop well-informed consumers of scientific information.”

“Amy is shaping the foundational scientific understanding of future communicators—both conceptual knowledge as well as the process of science and ability to critically evaluate evidence,” said Morgan Thompson, assistant director at the Center for Biomedical Career Development.

“I express gratitude to the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship at Emerson for helping to identify and secure funding opportunities, including the Consumer Awareness Project fund, to support development and broader expansion of this work,” Vashlishan Murray said.

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