Laureates of the 11th season of the Enlightener Prize were announced

The award ceremony was held on 15 November 2018 in The Moscow Young Generation Theatre, where the Enlightener Prize was awarded for the best popular science book written in Russian.

Laureate of the Natural and Exact Sciences category was announced by jury member Evgeny Bunimovich. The award went to Sergey Yastrebov for his book From Atoms to a Tree. Introduction to the Modern Life Science (Moscow: Alpina Non-Fiction, 2018).

In the Humanities category the award was given to a team of authors – Sergei Zotov, Mikhail Maizuls, and Dilshat Kharman for their book Suffering in the Middle Ages (Moscow: AST, 2018). The award was presented by the last year’s laureate Alexander Piperski.

“The jury had the hardest job this year: I am glad I can say the level of Enlightener 2018 finalists is incredibly good. On one hand the jury could pick any book, on the other it is difficult to choose between good, very good and almost as good,” said Alexei Semikhatov — chairman of the jury. “It was really nice that the jury worked unanimously like the soul of the prize, soaking up all the “for” and “against” arguments and came up with the one and only right solution. I cannot say it was easy but we are all satisfied with the result.”

Since 2019 the Enlightener Prize is introducing a new nomination – Enlightener.Digital dedicated to online educational projects. On the eve of the new season, Dmitry Zimin himself named the first two laureates of this prize. They are Leonid Mlechin with his popular history blog and Mikhail Zygar with projects 1917, History map, and 1968.digital.

In accordance with the rules of the award, each finalist shall receive a 100 000 rubles prize, and each laurate a 700 000 rubles prize. In the Enlightener.Digital category the prize was divided between the two laureates.

As usual, the jury consisted of Prosvetitel laureates from previous years, science populizers, and scientists:

Alexei Semikhatov — chairman of the jury, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, leading researcher of the Lebedev Physical institute;
Evgeny Bunimovich — mathematician, poet, honoured teacher of the Russian Federation, Children's Rights Commissioner in Moscow;
Daria Varlamova — journalist, laureate of the Enlightener Prize 2017 in the Natural and Exact Sciences category, co-author of the book To Go Crazy. Guide to Mental Disorders for a Big City Dweller;
Boris Zimin – businessman, head of the Zimin Foundation board;
Dmitry Zimin – founder of the Dynasty Foundation and of the Enlightener Prize;
Roman Leybov — Doctor of Philological Sciences (University of Tartu), Associate Professor of the Department of Russian Literature, University of Tartu (Estonia), curator of project Ruthenia.ru;
Alexander Markov — Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Senior Research Professor of the Paleontological Institute, RAS, head of the Biological Evolution department, Lomonosov Moscow State University;
Alexander Piperski — Candidate of Philological Sciences, assistant professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities, laureate of the Enlightener Prize 2017 in the Humanities category, author of the book Creating Languages. From Esperanto to Dothraki;
Irina Scherbakova — Candidate of Philological Sciences, head of youth and educational programmes at the international civil rights society Memorial, laureate of the Enlightener Prize 2017 in the Humanities category, co-author of the book The Sign Cannot Be Erased. Fates of the Ostarbeiters in Letters, Memoirs and Oral Histories.

This year the already traditional national vote for the best book was organized with the support of the information partner of the award – popular science web N+1. For two weeks there were fragments of the short-listed books published on the N+1 website. After that a vote was held on public group Obrazovach (social network VKontakte, 428 600 followers) and www.nplus1.ru website from 7-15 November. Almost 25 000 people voted. In the Natural and Exact Sciences category they chose Alexei Savvateev and his book Mathematics for Humanists. Live Lectures (Moscow: Dmitry Pozharsky University). In the Humanities category, a team of authors – Sergei Zotov, Mikhail Maizuls, Dilshat Kharman received a prize for their book Suffering in the Middle Ages (Moscow: AST, 2018) from the hands of deputy editor-in-chief Mikhail Maizuls.

The award ceremony brought together scientists, science populizers, researchers, writers, science journalists, literary critics, experts on culture, and non-fiction fans.