In 2017, the "Transformative Science" research prize has been offered for the first time by the Wuppertal Institute and the Zempelin Foundation in the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany (Stifterverband). Now the prize is awarded for the fifth time.
The "Transformative Science" research prize focuses on all forms of research that spark and promote social impetus and thus involve civil society. Transdisciplinary research design plays a significant role in this. The research prize is endowed with 25,000 euros. The money is awarded to prize winners for their project ideas in the field of transformative science. The Wuppertal Institute awards the research prize, which is funded by the Zempelin Foundation in the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany (Stifterverband). The Wuppertal Institute sees it as recognition of its achievements in this field that the Donors' Association commissioned the Institute to coordinate the award of the Zempelin Foundation-sponsored prize for "Transformative Science".
The research prize focused on individuals and research teams whose scientific work or individual projects have influenced processes of social change and whose outstanding transformative research can be expected to continue in the future. In 2021, the call will focus on contributions in the field of transformative innovations. The central characteristic of transformative innovations is that they have a particularly high potential to advance the overall process of a major transformation to sustainability. They can take the form of innovative new technologies, processes, services, organisational structures and institutions, actor networks, political frameworks or even value systems of different actors. The prize money is to be used to create scope and resources for the implementation of project ideas in the field of transformative research. Researchers from universities and non-university research institutions are eligible to apply. An independent jury will select the winner or the winning team.
The "Transformative Science" Research Award 2020 in the amount of 25,000 euros is awarded to Dr. Jana Zscheischler, who convinced the jury with her impressive transdisciplinary and transformative profile, her academic successes and her theoretically sound research, which she implements methodically and practically. She has worked continuously, consistently and in a very critical manner on the borderline between observation/analysis and action in the field of transdisciplinary methodology and has published on this subject. Her work on future potentials in sustainable land management is particularly noteworthy.
Jana Zscheischler: "I am really very pleased about this award. I will probably use the prize money to support a transdisciplinary process for the socially responsible use of digital data in agriculture".
The scientist from the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e. V. is co-head of the BMBF-funded junior research group "BioKum – Cumultative effects of bio-economic strategies for a more sustainable agriculture". They investigate bioeconomic strategies for a more sustainable agriculture, develop solutions and innovations and take into account the complex interrelationships, opportunities and conflicts of bioeconomic transformation processes on the way to more sustainable land use.
The scientist studied communication sciences (M.A.) at the Technical University of Berlin and environmental protection (M.Sc.) at the University of Rostock. She completed her doctorate on "Transdisciplinary Research in the Field of Land Use Science" at the Albrecht Daniel Thaer Institute for Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences at the Humboldt University of Berlin with summa cum laude and is currently working on her habilitation on "Innovations for Sustainable Land Management". As spokesperson for the Early Career Scientists in Future Earth, she is also committed to the structural strengthening of transformative sustainability research at the academic level.
The "Transformative Science" research prize is aimed at all forms of research that inspire society, promote social change and thereby engage the civil society. Transdisciplinary research design plays an important role in this process. The award-winners receive 25,000 euros in prize money. This money goes to support the winners in implementing their project ideas in the field of transformative science. In addition to the prize money, the winning team receives a sculpture that has been forged from the steel rails of the Wuppertal suspension railway – the Schwebebahn – built in 1898.