ARIT 2018: Communicating the Facts

From December 7-9 the Austrian Research and Innovation Talk – ARIT 2018 (organized by the Office of Science and Technology Austria – OSTA) drew Austrian scientists and innovators from all over North America, as well as Federal Minister Heinz Fassmann to the nation’s capital.

In an era of alternative facts and double realities communicating scientific facts successfully has become paramount. To help create an evidence based narrative and provide scientists with a prescient toolkit, the ARIT 2018 convened to tackle science communication, its inherent challenges and opportunities.

Renowned science communicators from the Austrian Press Agency, the AAAS and the American Geophysical Union underscored the imperative need for scientists to discover the magic of storytelling in order to synthesize and have their research resonate with a captive audience. This sentiment was echoed by the co-host of the ARIT, Prof. Heinz Faßmann, Austrian Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research, who furthermore welcomed the ARIT as being the prime venue and format on which to build the bridges between the scientific landscapes of North America and Austria.

To celebrate this thriving connection and award young Austrian scientific excellence in North America, Federal Minister Faßmann presented the ASCINA Awards at the ARIT 2018. Cancer cells in the pancreas, power and feminist agency in capitalism, as well as IEEE transactions on computational imaging were the subjects of interest among the winners of the 2018 ASCINA Awards:

Junior Principal Investigator
Claudia Leeb
‘Power and Feminist Agency in Capitalism: Toward a New Theory of the Political Subject’

Young Scientist
Andreas Pedroß-Engel
‘Orthogonal Coded Active IIlumination for Millimeter Wave, Massive-MIMO Computational Imaging with Metasurface Antennas’

Young Scientist
Jelena Todoric
‘Stress-Activated NRF2-MDM2 Cascade Controls Neoplastic Progression in Pancreas’

ASCINA Award 2018 winners, from left: Claudia Leeb, Jelena Todoric, Andreas Pedroß-Engel (c) Jennifer Heffner

ASCINA Award 2018 winners, from left: Claudia Leeb, Jelena Todoric, Andreas Pedroß-Engel
(c) Jennifer Heffner

Besides co-hosting the ARIT, Minister Faßmann met U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and conducted a number of high-level bilateral meetings aimed at fostering US-Austrian but also US-EU relations in the fields of Horizon Europe, higher-education and innovation.