Keivan Javanshiri, a medical researcher at the Department of Neuropathology at Lund University has won the 2019 Swedish Researchers’ Grand Prix. He was awarded the title of Sweden’s best science communicator at the final held on 26 November in Stockholm. The winner was decided based upon the combined votes of the public and a jury.
”I’m experiencing a lot of emotions right now. I am extremely happy, relieved, excited and proud. I think I won because it is a popular subject that is easy to relate to. And maybe thanks to my fig plants,” Keivan Javanshiri said with a laugh.
The jury praised his presentation for being methodical, systematic and clear, and they appreciated the concept of using plants on the stage to illustrate the brain. Keivan’s research is investigating the connection between dementia and conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and whether it is possible to prevent dementia through a healthy lifestyle.
Presenting your research in an easy-to-understand and engaging way is a challenge for most researchers. In the Researchers’ Grand Prix you get just four minutes in which to do that.
”The thing that I have particularly learnt is that you can actually say a lot in four minutes! It has been a fantastic experience,” said Keivan Javanshiri.
Second place went to Oliver Konzock from Chalmers University of Technology with his presentation on how yeast can be used as a replacement for palm oil. In third place came Akram Zamani from the University of Borås, who spoke with humour and passion about his research to discover the fabrics of the future.
Around 300 people attended the final held at Nalen concert hall in Stockholm and were offered a scientific smorgasbord of subjects and performances by the eight finalists. Presentations covered youth participation, personalised medicine, what motivates companies to work on sustainability, how to encourage newly retired people to be more active, and the role of mathematics in the development of vaccines and other medicines. Six of the researchers qualified through regional heats held in Borås, Karlshamn, Lund, Skövde, Stockholm and Västerås as part of the Swedish Researchers’ Night science festival, ForskarFredag, in September. Two researchers won a place in the final via an online competition in which researchers from across Sweden could submit a video presentation.
”It is important that new research findings are communicated and disseminated widely so that they can be used, and therefore contribute to creating a better and more sustainable society,” said Ethel Forsberg, Director General of the research council Forte, who presented the prizes at the final.
The winner was chosen by the audience along with an expert jury consisting of comedian and presenter Karin Adelsköld, Ulf Danielsson, a Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University and Amina Manzoor, medical reporter at the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).
The Researchers’ Grand Prix is Sweden’s largest science communication competition for researchers. The contest has been held annually since 2012 and is organised by Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) together with the research councils Formas, Forte, Vinnova and the Swedish Research Council.
Contact at VA (Public & Science)
Press Images from the final are available here.