Michael Bossetta, a researcher in media and communication studies at Lund University has been named Sweden’s best science communicator. He beat six other researchers to win the title at the final of the Researchers’ Grand Prix on 25 November in Stockholm.
How does social media affect politics? How can researchers study social media when there is so much data? How difficult is it to spread false information? Michael Bossetta answered these questions and charmed the audience and the jury with his humour and energy during his four minutes on stage. He received the highest points from the jury and was also the audience’s favourite.
Michael Bossetta believes that researchers need to be able to explain their research in a simple way.
“What this shows is that people are understanding that the social sciences and the way we engage with technology and social media matters just as much as cancer research or any other type of research,” he said upon winning the contest.
In addition to the title, Michael Bossetta won a trophy and 15,000 SEK to be used for a study trip or other professional development activity. Second place went to malaria researcher Sofia Hernandez from Umeå University and in third place came Louise Karlsson from Halmstad University, who is researching the primary risk factors for stress-related ill health.
The Researchers’ Grand Prix is a contest in which researchers from anywhere in Sweden and any research field present their research in just four minutes. The final was held in Stockholm in front of a public audience and expert jury, whose votes were combined to decide the winner. In addition to the audience, the final was also watched online by over 200 people. The expert jury consisted of actress Karin Adelsköld, researcher Ulf Danielsson and journalist Amina Manzoor.
The Researchers’ Grand Prix turns 10 this year and, during the show, three previous winners were invited to reflect upon their experience.
“The Researchers’ Grand Prix has meant a lot to me. It has enabled me to explain my research in a much better way than I could previously,” said Anita Pettersson, Associate Professor at the University of Borås, who won the competition in 2016.
Maria Thuveson, Executive Director at the Swedish Research Council, presented the prizes.
“The Researchers’ Grand Prix showcases how to explain complicated subjects in a simple way, whilst highlighting the importance of dialogue between researchers and other parts of society and ensuring that research benefits society,” she said.
All finalists qualified for the final via regional heats or through national online heats (N.Ö.R.D. and Researchers’ Grand Prix Digital). As the 2020 final could not be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the final brought together finalists from heats held in both 2020 and 2021.
The Researchers’ Grand Prix is part of the national science festival ForskarFredag, a part of European Researchers’ Night, and organised by the Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science) together with the research councils Formas, Forte, Vinnova and the Swedish Research Council. It is Sweden’s largest science communication competition for researchers.
Contact at VA (Public & Science)
Lena Söderström, Press Officer at VA (Public & Science) +46 (0)70-716 06 44, [email protected]
Press images from the final are available here.