The prize, which is awarded annually by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Sifterverband, is endowed with 50,000 euro. The award seeks to promote dialogue between science and the public. “For me personally, this award is a very special one because it highlights an area that is not often enough perceived to be a part of scientific activity,” says Antje Boetius. She is the Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and a professor at the University of Bremen. Among other things, Antje Boetius is also the Vice Director of the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. “It’s about dialogue with others, the diversity of words, sound and image, in order to convey insights – in order to share and absorb knowledge,” she says. The Communicator Prize endowed with 50,000 euro will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the DFG to be held on July 2, 2018, in Bonn.
Personal and authentic way of communicating
In the grounds for their decision, the jury particularly emphasizes Antje Boetius’ self-conception as a scientist, for whom the communication of research work and knowledge to different target groups and her political commitment to improving dialogue between science, politics and society belong together. The jury also draws attention to her very personal and authentic way of communicating. Moreover, Antje Boetius makes a point of referring to the preliminary and processual aspects of scientific work and does not attempt to hide its inevitable uncertainties.
“For me, the exchange of questions and findings is an essential part of being a scientist, one that we should nurture and be proud of. And that’s what makes it fun, too. Anyone who has experienced the enthusiasm of the audience – the curiosity about everything that lies beyond the limits of knowledge – cannot help but be energized for their own research,” says Antje Boetius.
The prizewinner is selected by a jury comprising science journalists as well as communications and PR experts. It is chaired by DFG Vice-President, Professor Julika Griem.
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Read the press release of the German Research Foundation (in German only)