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NCCR Knowledge Transfer Award 2008

September 2008: The 2nd NCCR Democracy Knowledge Transfer Award has been conferred to eleven young NCCR researchers who presented their work to a broad public at the Parcours des Wissens in March 2008.
 KTAward_2008.jpg The winners of the 2008 NCCR Democracy Knowledge Transfer Award: Dominik Allenspach, Giorgio Nadig, Jan Fivaz, Lisa Müller, Stefani Gerber, Christian Schemer, Matthias Gerth (from left). Missing in the photo: Laurent Bernhard, Isabel Vollenweider, Regula Hänggli and Patrick Rademacher.
The Knowledge Transfer Award recognizes the special achievements of young NCCR researchers in transferring knowledge gathered in NCCR research into society. The winners this time were four teams who participated in the Parcours des Wissens, an interactive exhibition in downtown Zurich organized by the University of Zurich in March 2008 in the framework of its 175th anniversary festivities.
Over a period of eight days the NCCR members presented their research projects and the tools they have developed to a broad public:
Lisa Müller and Isabel Vollenweider of the Democracy Barometer project offered an interactive, computer-animated map showing the world-wide democratization process between 1810 and 2000. Visitors could operate a controller and observe how the colouring of each country changes over time according to the degree of democracy. They could choose different indices and components of democratization and thus were encouraged to critically reflect on the measurement and the world-wide meaning of democracy.
Dominik Allenspach of the NCCR civic education project presented a first version of the Politikzyklus learning tool learning tool. The tool illustrates and explains the policy cycle, and has been developed with secondary school students particularly in mind, in order to enable them to better understand and analyze the political process.
Giorgio Nadig, Jan Fivaz and Stefani Gerber of Smartvote provided visitors with a personal ‘smartspider’ that showed their political profile and gave answers to questions such as in which canton or municipality they should live in order to be with politically like-minded people. Visitors were also sensitized to the opportunities and risks of electronic voting.
Laurent Bernhard, Matthias Gerth, Regula Hänggli, Patrick Rademacher and Christian Schemer of NCCR research Module 4 presented their initial results based on the data obtained during the campaign on the new asylum law in Switzerland, on which a referendum was held in September 2006. The researchers explained to the visitors the strategies of political actors in campaigns, and the role of the media and of public opinion
The prize winners contributed to a direct knowledge transfer of NCCR research to the 40,000 visitors of the Parcours des Wissens including children with their parents, pupils, professionals and pensioners. They entered into a dialogue with citizens, stimulated discussion, raised interest and created acceptance for research. Furthermore, to prepare and realize the exhibition required a high level of initiative, effort and time.
The award is endowed with 4,000 Swiss Francs.
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