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Executive Department for
Press, Communication and Marketing

Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2a
Gebäude AVZ (Gebäudeteil AR-NA)
57068 Siegen

Phone:    +49 (0)271/740-4915
Fax.:    +49 (0)271/740-4911
E-Mail:  presse@uni-siegen.de

Future Studies Awarded

The Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Siegen (FoKoS) awards the Future Prize to three researchers for their achievements - which extend beyond their own discipline.

This year, the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Siegen (FoKoS) honored groundbreaking research work for the second time with the "FoKoS Future Prize." Political scientist Dr. Jörg Radtke received the award for his co-issued anthology "Energiewende. Politikwissenschaftliche Perspektiven" (Energy Transformation. Political science perspectives). In addition, the two literary and cultural scholars Dr. Niels Penke and Dr. Matthias Schaffrick were awarded the Future Prize. The theme of their book project is: "Popular Cultures." The prize is endowed with a total of 7,500 euros. It aims at young scientists of the University of Siegen, whose research projects are interdisciplinary and socially particularly relevant. The keynote speech was given by the Canadian science journalist Paul Lewis.

"Dr. Jörg Radtke wrote about something that we all use naturally, but which is mostly invisible: Energy," explained presenter and politics professor Dr. Christoph Strünck of the award winner's theme. Radtke emphasized the social, political and economic relevance of the topic. What are the self-interests, for example, of municipal energy suppliers that generate energy from wastewater? Can citizens determine the installation of electricity routes – and would it even be advisable? Radtke's collection pools for the first time political science contributions to the topic of energy transformation.

The literary and cultural scientists Niels Penke and Dr. Matthias Schaffrick received the prize for their joint book project "Popular Cultures for Introduction". In it they ask how the term "popular" has been used in the past 250 years and how it has become the subject of cultural up- or downgrading. "I'm very proud. This is a great success, "said presenter and German Studies Professor Dr. Niels Werber.

The keynote speech was given by Paul Lewis, Discovery Channel Canada's longtime managing director, on the relationship between science and the media. "As a kid I had two types of heroes: aliens and scientists. Both are quite exotic beings. "When Lewis approached scientists for the first time more than 20 years ago to win them over for a television documentary, they were not very excited. "Television is too simplistic. After I do that, nobody will take me seriously anymore as a scientist ", he got in reply - over and over again, until the first ones dared to step before the camera. Previously, many would have said: It's not my job as a scientist to explain my research to a broad audience. In the meantime, that's different: "Social media is part of the job and partly crucial for subsidies," said Lewis. One of the most successful science creators has more than 13 million subscribers. "Science is becoming more transparent. Scientists are no longer these exotic beings. We get to know them personally, see how they work and even how they fail. "Lewis' Appeal to the researchers in the hall: "Become science communicators!"

All award winners were selected by a jury headed by Prof. Dr. Andreas Kolb (Faculty IV). Also part of the commission were: Prof. Dr. Rainer Brück (Deputy Director FoKoS and Faculty V), Prof. Dr. Thomas Coelen (Faculty II), Prof. Dr. Peter Haring Bolívar (Faculty IV), Prof. Dr. Dr. Björn Niehaves (Director FoKoS and Faculty III), Prof. Dr. Jörg Potthast (Faculty I) and Prof. Dr. Hanna Schramm-Klein (Faculty III).