2012 EMCDDA scientific paper award showcases innovative research in drugs field

The three winners of the 2012 EMCDDA scientific paper award will come under the spotlight in Lisbon this week at the annual award ceremony hosted by the EU agency (1). This year the results reflect the female face of science, with all three acclaimed authors being women. The winners — from Germany, Sweden and the UK — will receive a non-monetary prize for their contributions on 26 September in the margins the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors’ annual meeting opening at the EMCDDA this week (2).

The prize, inaugurated in 2011 by the EMCDDA and its Scientific Committee (3), celebrates scientific writing and distinguishes high-quality research in the field of illicit drugs. In a new procedure adopted this year, four groups were invited to nominate papers: European research societies; EMCDDA Scientific Committee members; the national focal points of the Reitox network; and European drug research peer-reviewed journals.

According to the entry criteria, all articles were published in 2011 in peer-reviewed scientific journals, with the primary author based in an EU Member State, Croatia, Turkey or Norway. Papers could be submitted in a number of categories, including: basic biological, neurobiological and behavioural research; population-based and epidemiology studies; and demand and supply reduction. The 2012 winners are:  

  • ‘Diminished gray matter in the hippocampus of cannabis users: possible protective effects of cannabidiol’, Dr Traute Demirakca, Dipl. Psych. (Germany). Published in Drug and alcohol dependence, 114 (2011) 242–245.
  • ‘Long-term effects of a community-based intervention: five-year follow-up of 'Clubs against Drugs'’, Dr Johanna Gripenberg, PhD (Sweden). Published in Addiction, 106, 1997–2004.
  • ‘The impact of needle and syringe provision and opiate substitution therapy on the incidence of hepatitis C virus in injecting drug users: pooling of UK evidence’, Dr Katy M.E. Turner, PhD (United Kingdom). Published in Addiction, 106, 1978–1988.

This year, some 30 eligible entries were received and judged on the criteria of: scientific originality; scientific quality; clarity and quality of writing; and EU relevance. The jury was composed of members of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee and the agency’s senior scientific staff. Abstracts of the winning papers will be available on the agency’s website in English, along with translations in German and French in an effort to share findings in non-English speaking countries. This year a full list of shortlisted papers is also available online.

Commenting on the initiative, Chair of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee Dr Marina Davoli said: ‘The EMCDDA scientific paper award was conceived to reflect the importance of scientific publishing and to provide a channel for disseminating the findings of European research to policymakers and professionals. I congratulate the 2012 winners on their positive contribution to our knowledge base in the field of drugs and drug addiction’.  

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