Press release 29 November 2017
Peter Ueda, a medical researcher at the Karolinska Institute, has won the title of Sweden’s best science communicator. His research involves using large data files to discover how the treatment of a range of illnesses can be improved. Yesterday he was awarded the 2017 Researchers’ Grand Prix trophy on the stage at Nalen in Stockholm.
Second place was awarded to Lena Lid Falkman Andersson from the Stockholm School of Economics for her presentation on charisma, and Birgitta Häggman-Henrikson from Malmö University came third talking about how to reduce pain yourself.
“How does it feel? Let me have a think. It feels great. Fantastic! I really wanted to show how important it is for researchers to be enthusiastic but also critical,” said Peter Ueda, upon receiving his prize.
In the contest researchers are challenged to compress many years’ of research into just four minutes. During this time, they must entertain, inform and inspire both a public audience and expert jury. Nine researchers from across Sweden qualified for the final, which was held in Stockholm on 28 November.
With his presentation about the dreams and disappointments of being a researcher, Peter Ueda won over the audience and jury, as well as viewers who could watch and vote during the final via a live webcast. Peter Ueda’s previous research has included investigating how Pokémon Go affects public health. However, he claimed victory with a presentation about when he and his colleagues were looking for a connection between vitamin D deficiency at birth and multiple sclerosis (MS). A connection that turned out not to exist.
”Hearing the researchers present their research in a way that the audience could easily understand was really impressive. In order for research to be useful, it must reach out into society and not just stay in academia,“ said Leif Callenholm, Acting Director General at Vinnova.
The public audience and viewers voted using their mobile phones, and the jury awarded their points on the stage, with the audience’s votes carrying twice the weight as those of the expert jury. The jury consisted of Agnes Wold, a Doctor and Professor of Clinical Bacteriology at the University of Gothenburg, actress Anja Lundqvist, and editor-in-chief Patrik Hadenius.
The finalists qualified for a place in the final via regional heats in Blekinge, Borås, Lund, Malmö, Skövde Stockholm and Uppsala, held as part of the European science festival, Researchers’ Night in September. Two of the researchers qualified directly via an online competition.
This year’s final was the sixth annual contest in a row and was organised by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) together with the research councils Formas, Forte, the Swedish Research Council and Vinnova.
For more information, visit https://forskargrandprix.se/researchers-grand-prix-2017/ or contact:
High-resolution images (Photographer: Erik Cronberg)
The final is also available to watch online (in Swedish only) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcwTMHCraPo
VA (Public and Science) is a non-profit Swedish organisation that promotes dialogue and openness between researchers and the public – especially young people. The organisation works to create new forms of dialogue about research. VA is also developing new knowledge on the relationship between research and society through surveys and studies. Its members consist of some 80 organisations, authorities, companies and associations. In addition, it has a number of individual members. For more information visit www.v-a.se/in-english/