Science Communication Medal

Science Communication Medal

In the framework of the scientific lecture series (Wissenschaftserie) at the Göttinger Literaturherbst, since 2014, the Science Communication Medal is awarded annually to scientists who have been particularly successful in communicating outstanding research results to the broad public. 


In 2021, political economist and sustainability scientist Prof. Dr. Maja Göpel was honored with the Science Communication Medal. She is a co-founder of the Scientists for Future initiative and is actively involved in debating aspects of climate policy and social change. She recently left her position as Scientific Director at The New Institute in Hamburg to dedicate more of her time to the diverse tasks in the field of science communication.

Awardee Prof. Dr. Maja Göpel receives the Science Communication Medal from Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer.


In 2020, the social scientist Prof. Dr. h.c. Jutta Allmendinger was awarded with the Science Communication Medal for her special efforts in science communication. In her research, she deals with aspects of the labor market, social policy, and social inequality as well as issues of gender justice.

Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer with awardee Prof. Dr. h.c. Jutta Allmendinger.


In 2019, the behavioral biologist Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski of the Max Planck Institute for Behavioural Biology in Constance was awarded the Science Communication Medal. The awardee has not only inspired the public for science in generally understandable lectures and interviews. He also invites everyone interested to participate in his research. He initiated, for example, the MAXCINE public center in Radolfzell, where everyone is welcome to become a researcher himself. And with the Animal Tracker app developed by him and his team, everyone is called upon to document their own observations of animals in nature and thus become a Citizen Scientist.

Prof. Dr. Herbert Jäckle (right) awarded the Science Communication Medal to Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski.


The Science Communication Medal 2018 was awarded to the materials scientist Prof. Dr. Mark Miodownik for his outstanding contributions in bridging the gap between the realm of molecules as well as crystal lattices and our everyday world with its fascinating substances and materials. 

Prof. Dr. Mark Miodownik (left) and Prof. Dr. Walter Stühmer.


Prof. Dr. Douglas R. Hofstadter received the Science Communication Medal in 2017. For decades, Hofstadter's concern has been to open up the topics and results of cognitive science to a broad audience. Numerous essays and books testify to his ability to vividly explain the complex interrelationships of his subject. 

Awardee Prof. Dr. Metin Tolan (left) and Prof. Dr. Nils Brose.


Prof. Dr. Metin Tolan was awarded the Science Communication Medal 2016 for his outstanding achievements in communicating complex scientific topics to a broad public. In several books and numerous lectures Metin Tolan deals in an entertaining way with the physics of, for example, football matches or James Bond – and thus brings this scientific discipline closer to the public.

Awardee Prof. Dr. Metin Tolan (left) and Prof. Dr. Nils Brose.


Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch was honored with the Science Communication Medal 2015 for his dedication to present even most complex scientific research topics on television to a broad number of viewers in an easy understandable way.

Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch with Prof. Dr. Helmut Grubmüller (from left).


The first winner of the Science Communication Medal in 2014 was British physicist Prof. Dr. David J.C. MacKay, who was honored for his outstanding achievements to communicate environmental science wiht clear texts, facts and figures, backed up by empirical data and explanations of limitations – to the broad public as well as to politicians.

Prof. Dr. David MacKay and Prof. Dr. Helmut Grubmüller (from left). With deep sadness the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry learned of the death of David MacKay on April 14, 2016.

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