Silver medal for video film from the University of Jena

The winner (f.l.t.r.): Dr Karim Montasser, Irena Walinda, Katja Bär and Dr Julia
The winner (f.l.t.r.): Dr Karim Montasser, Irena Walinda, Katja Bär and Dr Julia Fischer. Image: Axel Müller

The YouTube film "STIMMT DAS? Can trees talk?" from Friedrich Schiller University Jena was awarded a prestigious science communication prize on Saturday evening (17 June). In the Fast Forward Science competition, the Jena video won the 2 prize in the "Scientist & Research Institution" category out of a total of 157 entries. Katja Bär and Irena Walinda from the University Communications and Marketing Department accepted the prize of 2,000 euros on 17 June in Hamburg on behalf of all those involved.

Communication against Fake News

"Communicating scientific findings to the public is one of our central tasks, especially in times when misinformation and myths are spreading rapidly via social media," says Head of Department Katja Bär. "I am very pleased that an episode of the YouTube film series STIMMT DAS? has won this prestigious award. With the video format, we offer researchers at the University of Jena a platform for communicating current findings."

In the award-winning contribution, Nicole van Dam, Professor of Molecular Interaction Ecology at the University of Jena, answers the question of whether trees can talk to each other. She explains how researchers are working to answer this and other questions. In 2022, a team from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv) led by Dr Martin Volf and Nicole van Dam was able to demonstrate for the first time in the treetops of the Auwald forest in Leipzig in a realistic environment that trees communicate with each other and with their environment using volatile scents. These findings can help find sustainable strategies for pest control in agriculture and forestry.

"Nicole van Dam is a passionate communicator of her research - like all the scientists who have been in front of the camera for the STIMMT DAS? series so far," says film director Irena Walinda and adds: "Her enthusiasm contributes significantly to the success of the series, as does the support from the university’s multimedia centre and the graphic designers. I hope we can produce many more episodes."

The film series "STIMMT DAS?" has been produced by the University Communications and Marketing Department together with the Multimedia Centre of the University of Jena since 2022. Five episodes have been released in the meantime - which can be seen here.

On the podium

First place in the category "Scientist & Research Institution" went to the veterinarian Dr Karim Montasser, who analysed in his contribution whether "amber collar, coconut oil against ticks?" help dogs. In third place was Dr Julia Fischer with a dialogue on "non-alcoholic fatty liver".