In 2015, the BSHS launched a new prize to recognise outstanding web projects and digital engagement in the history of science, technology and medicine (HSTM). The prize name was chosen by members from a shortlist to recognize the major contributions of Hertha Ayrton (1854-1923) to numerous scientific fields, especially electrical engineering and mathematics, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The inaugural BSHS Ayrton Prize, in 2015, was won by the British Library for Voices of ScienceThe 2017 prize was won by the project REACH, Raising Awareness through the Conduit of History, produced by the IEEE.

Eligible projects may include

  • publicly accessible websites, or clearly defined contributions to existing web-based projects
  • podcasts and audio or video projects created for online delivery
  • online forums for public dialogue and discussion
  • social media initiatives (the nomination should be for a well-defined and publicly identifiable campaign or series of activities, rather than a general engagement presence)
  • smartphone apps
  • citizen science-style public engagement projects delivered online
  • virtual/augmented reality environments
  • simulations and models based on historical sources or data
  • projects using digital methods to make source materials more accessible to a wider audience (for example, 3D imaging of historical objects)
  • research projects which apply digital humanities approaches to HSTM sources or metadata, provided they have a public engagement element
  • digital tools and utilities to aid the work of public engagement professionals.

The prize is awarded once every two years in odd-numbered years, to a project which has been created, or significantly updated, during the two years prior to the call for applications.

Previous Winners of the BSHS Ayrton Prize

Hertha Ayrton