Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Scientists Without Borders Named Katerva Award Finalist

Award recognizes excellence in global sustainability.

Published October 04, 2011

NEW YORK, September 30, 2011-Scientists Without Borders, a web-based collaborative community that generates and advances innovative and effective science and technology-based solutions to the world's most pressing global development challenges, has been named a 2011 finalist for the Katerva Award for global sustainability excellence. Five finalists in 10 separate categories are selected pursuant to a rigorous one-year review process that consists of intense scrutiny by a high-level spotter network, research team, and expert reviewers.

Scientists Without Borders, a public/private partnership led by the New York Academy of Sciences, has been named a finalist in the category of Behavioral Change, a category that recognizes initiatives that educate, raise awareness, and provide a forum for global change. After all, "the best technologies can do little to save the planet if individuals do not decide to use them," according to a Katerva statement.

Shaifali Puri, Executive Director of Scientists Without Borders, noted that it was an honor to be named a finalist, given the caliber of the other co-finalists.  "Our co-finalists are some of the most innovative and viable programs and projects effecting real global change," said Puri.  "We are honored to be included among them, and to have been selected pursuant to such a rigorous review process." More than 500 people play a role in six filtering phases and 12 stages of focused review that lead to the selection of Katerva finalists and the selection of the winner in each category.  The grand prize winner will be selected by a panel of global leaders and will be announced in December. 

However, Puri stated that the real excitement was not the honor itself, but the possibilities it presents. "We are thrilled that due to the Katerva Award process, a wider community can be made aware of the work we and others do, and hopefully through awareness be inspired to lend their expertise and resources to our shared global challenges." 

Scientists Without Borders's unique model leverages a free web-based platform to connect a worldwide group of cross-disciplinary, multi-sector users to develop and openly share concrete and effective solutions to pressing development challenges.  Scientists Without Borders also works with a world-class strategic partner network to design and implement innovative approaches and to forge collaborations. 

Recently, Scientists Without Borders designed and launched a global Maternal Health and Nutrition Challenge, which sought to combat birth defects and infant mortality by offering a $10,000 prize to find innovative methods to enable women of child-rearing age in the developing world to fortify staple foods with folic acid at the home and community level.  In 30 days, more than 60 solutions were offered from 21 different countries. Scientists Without Borders is now working with partners to advance the winning solution.

Said Toan Phan, a Scientists Without Borders member and part of the team that took third-place in the Maternal Health and Nutrition Challenge, "What the team behind Scientists Without Borders has created is a game-changing, self-generating network that gives all scientists the ability to positively impact humanitarian issues, anywhere on the globe. It represents a tremendous opportunity for scientists to join forces to make a difference in the world."

About Scientists Without Borders
Scientists Without Borders is a web-based collaborative community dedicated to generating, sharing, and advancing innovative science and technology-based solutions to the world's most pressing global development challenges. For more information and to join the Scientists Without Borders community, please visit

About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide since 1817. With 25,000 members in 140 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at