Young Marsilius FellowsScience and Communication: Who owns Space?

Press Release No. 67/2022
12 July 2022

The first class of Young Marsilius Fellows present their work at a symposium

Who owns space? How are natural disasters interpreted and what significance is attributed to them? 13 young scholars at Heidelberg University’s Marsilius Kolleg are working on fascinating interdisciplinary topics and on how to put across the findings of their joint research to an audience in an entertaining and generally comprehensible fashion. They are the first class of Young Marsilius Fellows and will now present their work at a symposium. To start the event on 14 July 2022, Prof. Dr Ionica Smeets, currently Nature Marsilius Visiting Professor for Scientific Communication at Ruperto Carola, will engage with the question “What is good science communication?”. Its value for science and society is the topic of a panel discussion afterwards.

With its Young Marsilius Fellowship programme, launched in the 2021/2022 winter semester, Heidelberg University addresses early-career researchers from different disciplines who collaborate on a research project and want to develop further activities in the field of science communication. Within one year, the Fellows – supported and accompanied by the Marsilius Kolleg – carry out joint projects, which lead into a symposium at which they present their results. A basic topic is set for the annually awarded Fellowships, referring to the focal theme of an edition of “Ruperto Carola”, the research magazine published by Heidelberg University.

Members of the first class of Fellows in the Young Marsilius Fellowship programme are Dr Swetha Ananth (virology), Dr Katharina Anders (geoinformatics), Dr Maria Becker (German studies), Dr Torben Ellerbrok (administrative law), Annika Elstermann (English studies), Dr Alida Carolin Euler (theology), Dr Maja Funk (molecular biology), Dr Marlene Krauch (psychology), Dr Stefanie Peykarjou (psychology), Dr Natalie Rauscher (American studies), Dr Simon Schaub (political science), Dr Laura Schmidt (psychology) and Dr Tim Wolf (physics). For the focal theme “Friend & Foe” the 13 Fellows switched perspectives in order, from new angles, to pursue the question of who owns space, and grapple with the meanings and interpretations of natural disasters. The first results of their research – the topics were handled in two groups – will be presented in the context of the “WissenSchafFt PERSPEKTIVEN” symposium.

The event will begin with an English keynote lecture by Prof. Smeets. Under the heading “Transdisciplinary scholarly perspectives” the Young Marsilius Fellows will then present their results by way of example. Participants in the following panel discussion are Dr Marco Binder, virologist at the German Cancer Research Centre, Dr Maria Mast, science journalist at ZEIT online, Felix Schneider, consultant at an agency for scientific consulting, as well as Prof. Dr Matthias Weidemüller, Vice-Rector for Innovation and Transfer of Heidelberg University.

The symposium will take place at Marsilius Kolleg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 130.1, starting at 2pm. Attending the public event requires registration via its website.