Pandemic researcher from RUC receives ministry’s communications prize
Research has been crucial for both understanding and resolving the historic crisis that the Covid pandemic has brought to Denmark and the rest of the world. One of the best communicators of their research is Lone Simonsen, Professor at the Department of Science and Environment at Roskilde University. She is now being honoured for her communication related to the Covid pandemic with the award of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science's Research Communication Prize 2021.
"We are very proud that Lone Simonsen has received the Research Communication Prize this year. More than anyone, she represents the combination of international research excellence, passionate commitment, the ability to work across disciplines, and an intense desire and ability to communicate. When the Covid crisis swept across the world in spring 2020, she was instantly present on all platforms. Not just as an expert answering journalists' questions, but also as a committed researcher who, in the midst of it all, asked the pressing questions along with us, and who allowed herself to wonder and doubt. Lone's research communication is courageous, multifaceted and human. This creates both trust and respect," says RUC's pro-rector with responsibility for research, Peter Kjær.
Minister for Higher Education and Research Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen said:
"I have enormous respect for scientists who come forward and tell the rest of us about the latest research. It is particularly important during the Covid pandemic that everyone has access to the new knowledge that is constantly emerging. This is especially true when it comes to a subject with so much misinformation. Lone Simonsen has managed to do this to a very high degree. That's why she deserves this fine honour."
The jury's assessment
The jury that assessed the candidates for the Research Communication Prize 2021 consisted of the chair of Independent Research Fund Denmark and an expert panel from Videnskab.dk. The jury highlighted Lone Simonsen's strong communication skills, her willingness to speak out frequently on TV and radio, and the fact that she effectively uses her historical insight to put the pandemic into perspective in easy-to-understand language. The jury also felt that Lone Simonsen excelled in interpreting and communicating the large volume of data and comparable experiences from historical events, so that people can act on an informed basis.
Lone Simonsen holds a master's degree in biology and chemistry from Roskilde University and a PhD from the USA. She has built up a specialist knowledge in epidemiology and worked from 2000 to 2015 as a senior research associate at the National Institutes of Health in the USA. Lone Simonsen has been a professor at RUC since 2018.
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