In July 2012, Volker Stollorz came as the first Journalist in Residence to HITS and spent four month at our institute.
Volker Stollorz studied Biology and Philosophy in Cologne and Amsterdam. For more than 20 years, he has been working as a freelance science journalist for daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and TV broadcasters. He was awarded several prizes for his work, for example the Georg von Holtzbrinck Prize for Science Journalism and the European Journalist Award (Europäischer Journalistenpreis des Verbands deutscher Medizinjournalisten (VDMJ)). He was member of the board of the German Journalists Association “Wissenschaftspressekonferenz” (WPK) for several years and founded a magazine for science journalists, “WPK Quarterly”.
During his stay at HITS, Volker Stollorz worked together with the researchers of the Scientific Databases and Visualization (SDBV)-group in developing the “OperationsExplorer”. The OperationsExplorer is a virtual map, visualizing the prevalence of diagnoses in Germany and was designed to help journalists analyze medical data and statistics.
He also gave a public talk at HITS on how journalists observe science and why they sometimes misinterpret facts. According to him, journalism will not last if it is only used as sheer means of translation of science.
About his stay at HITS he says:
“The chance to spend a considerable amount of time with those smart “HITSters“ will stay in my mind for long and it will influence my work as a science journalist. This program creates opportunities to intensify the important dialogue between science, science journalism, and the public. “
The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.