The Award for the Advancement of Free
Software is given annually to an
individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and
development of free software, through activities that accord with the
spirit of free software.
This year, it was given to Sébastien Jodogne for his work on free
software medical imaging with his project Orthanc.
One of Jodogne's nominators said, "The Orthanc project started in
2011, when Sébastien noticed in his work as a medical imaging engineer
that hospitals are very exposed to lock-in problems when dealing with
their medical imaging flows....Freely creating electronic gateways
between imaging modalities (autorouting), between medical departments,
or even between hospitals remains a challenging task. But the amount
of medical images that are generated, analyzed, and exchanged by
hospitals is dramatically increasing. Medical imaging is indeed the
first step to the treatment of more and more illnesses, such as
cancers or cardiovascular diseases."
Jodogne said, "Technology and humanism are often opposed. This is
especially true in the healthcare sector, where many people fear that
technological progress will dehumanize the treatments and will reduce
the patients to statistical objects. I am convinced that the
continuous rising of free software is a huge opportunity for the
patients to regain control of their personal health, as well as for
the hospitals to provide more competitive, personalized treatments by
improving the interoperability between medical devices. By
guaranteeing the freedoms of the users, free software can definitely
bring back together computers and human beings."
Jodogne joins a distinguished list of previous winners, including the
2013 winner, Matthew Garrett.
The Award for Projects of Social
Benefit is presented to a
project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas
of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and
significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award
stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity.
This year, the award went to Reglue, which gives GNU/Linux computers
to underprivileged children and their families in Austin, TX. According to Reglue, Austin
has an estimated 5,000 school-age children who cannot afford a
computer or Internet access. Since 2005, Reglue has given over 1,100
computers to these children and their families. Reglue's strategy
diverts computers from the waste stream, gives them new life with free
software, and puts them in the hands of people who need these machines
to advance their education and gain access to the Internet.
One nomination for Reglue read, "Mr. Starks has dedicated his life to
distributing free software in many forms, both the digital form...and
by building new computers from old parts, giving a new life to old
machines by re-purposing them into computers given to extremely needy
children and families. They are always loaded with free, GNU/Linux
software, from the OS up."
Ken Starks, founder of Reglue, was present at the ceremony to accept
the award. While all free 'as in freedom' software is not free of
charge, Reglue focuses on finding empowering free software that is
also gratis. He said of his work with Reglue, "A child's exposure to
technology should never be predicated on the ability to afford it. Few
things will eclipse the achievements wrought as a direct result of
placing technology into the hands of tomorrow."
Nominations for both awards are submitted by members of the public,
then evaluated by an award committee composed of previous winners and
FSF founder and president Richard Stallman. This year's award
committee was: Hong Feng, Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Yukihiro Matsumoto,
Matthew Garrett, Suresh Ramasubramanian, Fernanda Weiden, Jonas Öberg,
Wietse Venema, and Vernor Vinge.
More information about both awards, including the full list of
previous winners, can be found at https://www.fsf.org/awards.
About the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and
use of free (as in freedom) software—particularly the GNU operating
system and its GNU/Linux variants—and free documentation for free
software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and
political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites,
located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information
about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at
https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
More information about the FSF, as well as important information for
journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
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