Prix Média of the Academies for two science journalists

The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences honour Martin Amrein for his contribution "The virus is here to stay" and Arian Bastani for his article "Is the power grid out of balance?" with the Prix Média 2021.

The one in the NZZ on Sunday article by Martin Amrein published in February 2021 traces how the emerging coronavirus variants have made the goal of herd immunity with currently available vaccines a distant prospect. Nevertheless, the vaccines would free people from the grip of the pandemic because they would protect the population from severe and long-lasting courses of the disease. The jury also recognised the extraordinary efforts made by science journalists during the ongoing pandemic, the academies said.

Arian Bastani, in his paper for the online magazine, also published in February 2021, examined Republicwhether the stability of the electricity grid can be maintained despite the fluctuations in the energy supplied by the sun and wind. His conclusion: in the long term, people will have to come up with something if they want to be supplied exclusively with renewable electricity - especially in regions that cannot use much hydropower. The jury praised the fact that Arian Bastani had succeeded in explaining a very underestimated topic to a lay audience in a way that was understandable and without technical jargon.

Audience Award for Data Film

In the public vote, Simone Pengue won the Prix Média Newcomer, worth 4000 Swiss francs, for his film "Dati dimenticati: gli scarti della scienza / Forgotten data: the leftovers of science". He investigated what happens to unused biomedical research data and wondered whether it should be made publicly available and whether it can be used to answer new questions.

The awards will be presented to the winners during ScienceComm'21 on Thursday at the University of Freiburg. (SDA)


The Prix Média, endowed with 7000 Swiss francs, is awarded annually for scientific journalistic contributions. With the Prix Média Newcomer, the Academies promote young authors aged 31 or under, who are honoured for their creative ideas.

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