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Wolfgang Heckl awarded Descartes Prize for Science Communication

This release is also available in German.

Wolfgang Heckl, professor of experimental physics and nanotechnologist at the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany, who became the Director General of the Deutsches Museum in Munich on 1 October, was today awarded the European Commission's new Descartes Prize for Science Communication. This is the first time that this 50,000 prize has been awarded. Wolfgang Heckl received the prize in the "Professional Scientists engaged in Science Communication to the Public" category. His nomination for the prize was submitted by the DFG. The selection panel gave the following reason for selecting Heckl:

Professor Heckl is a dynamic personality and has received widespread recognition for his ability to make hard science understandable and entertaining to a broad range of audiences.

Approximately 300 guests from the scientific community and politics, as well as journalists from throughout Europe, gathered in the historic Rudolph Gallery in Prague's Hradany Castle, to attend the opening of the award ceremony for the Descartes Prize for Research and the Descartes Prize for Science Communication by Vclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, and Janez Potonik, the newly appointed EU Commissioner for Science and Research.

The highly respected Descartes Prize for Excellence in collaborative scientific research, worth 500,000, was awarded for the fifth time. This year it was awarded to two teams in the fields of life science and physics.

The new prize for science communication, created by the European Commission, was awarded in three categories. Alongside Wolfgang Heckl in the "Professional Scientists engaged in Science Communication to the Public" category, the British zoologist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough also received a prize. Two prizes were also awarded in the "Innovative Action for Science Communication" c
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Contact: Dr. Eva-Maria Streier
em.streier@dfg.de
49-228-885-2250
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
3-Dec-2004


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