Osteoarchaeologist Maia Casna receives the NVFA Incentive Prize: ‘I try to push osteology into the public eye as much as I can’
PhD candidate Maia Casna received an Incentive Prize from the Dutch Association for Physical Anthropology (NVFA). She was rewarded this honor for her innovative research into respiratory diseases and her talent for presenting her results to both academic and general audiences. ‘It feels really nice that the colleagues and people who do the same job recognize your work.’
Advancement of the discipline
The NVFA unites all the people that work with human remains, from forensics to medicine, to archaeology. ‘I'm a member of this association,’ Maia Casna explains. ‘They run this yearly award for the advancement of the discipline, especially in regards to public outreach.’ Osteoarchaeology Laboratory colleague Dr Rachel Schats nominated her for the award.
The jury's reasoning for awarding the prize to Maia was twofold. ‘The prize is intended to reward scientific advancement as well as outreach. Aside from my PhD research on respiratory illnesses in the past, I make a lot of effort in getting my research results to the public: public broadcast TV series, news pieces, podcasts,’ Maia sums up. ‘I also work remotely with Skype a Scientist, a programme aimed at explaining science to kids. It is important to do this since osteoarchaeology used to be such a closed-off world.’
Maia felt honored with the award. ‘Last year, the prize was awarded to two colleagues whose research I really admire and people I look up to. So it feels even more special to get this prize. And it is a sign that your colleagues and people who do the same job recognize your work.’