Jürgen Tautz is the New Communicator
Dr. Jürgen Tautz, the bee scientist and founder of HOBOS was granted this year's Communicator Award from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association or DFG) as well as the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors' Association for German Science and Humanities). The DFG honors his many activities and methods to make his scientific results accessible to a wide public audience.
The Communicator Award
The prize money includes 50,000 Euros and is regarded as Germany's most important award when it comes to communicating research results to the public and the media. Since 2000 the Donors' Association for German Science and Humanities and the DFG give this personal award to scientists and scholars who succeed in making their results accessible to the public and make the important step to create a dialogue between experts and the public. This year Tautz asserted himself and emerged as the winner among 19 other candidates from all disciplines of science and the humanities.
The Way Tautz Communicates
Tautz communicates his results in an exemplary way to others. He is quoted all over the media, from Germany's most-read journals like DIE WELT, STERN and DER SPIEGEL to the British Broadcast Corporation. He makes presentations, writes essays and books – his recent non-fictional book alone, "The Buzz About Bees" (originally titled in German: "Phänomen Honigbiene") was translated into 17 languages. He also published an audio book about bees, which he read aloud himself (dubbed title in English: Superorganism Honeybee), gives regular guided tours through the Bee Station at Würzburg University and founded the online research platform HOBOS. Represented by HOBOS, he has also entered the social media, in networks such as the landlive group of the German Agricultural Publisher (DLV) or Facebook.
Imparting insights in his own personal topics of research to the wider public – that is Dr. Tautz' cup of tea. He has already proven to be original, diverse and dogged. His Internet-based platform used as a tool for both learning and teaching, the "HOneyBee Online Studies" (HOBOS) was especially rewarded. Using live broadcasts from a beehive and its surroundings, measured data, an encyclopedia of behavior and interactive teaching material for all types of schools, HOBOS now conveys interdisciplinary insights about the honeybee around the globe.
The Awards Ceremony
The Communicator award is handed out by the president of the German Association of Research (DFG), Prof. Matthias Kleiner, and the president of the Donors' Association for German Science and Humanities, Dr. Arend Oetker. The ceremony took place on July 3th, 2012 in Dortmund as a part of the yearly assembly of the DFG Association. The prize money comes from the Donors' Association, in which more than 3,000 enterprises and private persons are engaged to promote the sciences and the humanities as well as their dialogue with the public. Furthermore, Jürgen Tautz received a hologram, which serves as a symbol of the communicator award. Cologne artist Michael Bleyenberg fashioned the work, expressing the significance of transparency in science. He aimed to demonstrate that it is worth taking a look at things from multiple perspectives.
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