A new award recognising individuals who have made significant contributions to the eradication of infectious diseases has been launched by RCVS Knowledge, in memory of eminent veterinary virologist Walter Plowright and his wife, Dorothy Plowright.
Every two years, the Plowright Prize will offer £75,000 to recognise an individual working in Europe or the Commonwealth who has made a significant impact on the control, management and eradication of infectious diseases of animals. Eligible activity must demonstrate animal, humanitarian or economic benefit. The prize money is intended to support the individual’s ongoing work in the field.
Potential recipients of the prize include veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and research scientists. Awardees may be working in a research setting, in academia, in practice or in other related sectors. Individuals must be nominated for the award, and the prize is not open to organisations.
Nominations are now invited for the inaugural prize, and must be received by 31 March 2020.
Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge Chris Gush said:
“We are honoured to be launching the Plowright Prize in memory of one of the world’s most exceptional veterinary surgeons and scientists, and in celebration of decades of dedication to an area of substantial societal significance.
“It is our belief that this prestigious international prize will help stimulate further research and improvement activities, including supporting the development of expertise in the area of infectious disease within the veterinary profession.”
Walter Plowright (1923-2010) was an acclaimed veterinary scientist whose major breakthrough in the battle against rinderpest – the tissue culture rinderpest vaccine (TCRV) – provided the key to eliminating the disease. In the year of Walter’s death, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations officially announced the complete eradication of the disease, only the second such feat in human history, alongside smallpox.
The story behind the profession’s eradication of rinderpest, commonly known as cattle plague, can be read in RCVS Knowledge’s publication Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine Matters.
In 2023, the prize will celebrate 100 years since Walter Plowright’s birth with a special award of £100,000 to that year’s winner.
Full criteria for the Plowright Prize can be found on the RCVS Knowledge website. Please note nominations for this year’s award must be received by 31 March 2020.