The German science journalist Michael Stang has begun his stay at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) as “Journalist in Residence.” This program offers science journalists a stay of up to 6 months at the institute which has a focus on data-driven research in areas ranging from astrophysics to cell biology. Candidates from 23 countries applied for the program that was announced internationally for the second time.
The Cologne-based science journalist Michael Stang will be the fifth “Journalist in Residence” at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). Last year, the program was announced internationally for the second time. A jury consisting of science journalists and scientists from universities, Max Planck Institutes and HITS, selected Michael Stang out of 40 candidates from 23 countries.
Stang studied Physical Anthropology, Social Anthropology and Palaeontology/Geology at Mainz University. After his Master´s Degree, he was awarded a scholarship for science journalism by the Bertelsmann Foundation that enabled him to gain experience in print and radio media. Since 2005, he has been a freelance reporter in Cologne, Germany, working for radio stations in Germany (Deutschlandradio, WDR, BR, SWR), Austria (ORF) and Switzerland (SRF), as well as for newspapers and magazines (e.g. Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung).
He has received many awards and fellowships, including the journalism award of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) foundation and the media award of the German Society for Geography, and a U.S. Media Fellowship at Duke University in Durham, USA.
According to Michael Stang, “science is not a national business”, and he has been reporting from more than 30 countries. Moreover, he is highly committed to cross-border journalism. He is a member of “journalists.network”, a research network for young journalists who want to learn how to cover stories from abroad. He also works voluntarily as an ambassador for “Hostwriter”, a global collaboration network for journalists.
Michael Stang intends to use his stay to learn more about data-driven science.from the researchers at HITS. He will also visit the other research institutes in Heidelberg, both at the University and beyond, and will develop new journalism projects.
Since 2012, the “Journalist in Residence” program offers experienced journalists with a focus on science journalism the opportunity to spend a three-month to six-month paid stay at HITS. In this time, journalists can interact with the research groups, implement their own projects and participate in internal colloquia and seminars of HITS researchers.
The renowned German science journalist Volker Stollorz was the first “Journalist in Residence” at HITS in 2012. This year, Stollorz became chief editor of the new German Science Media Center that has been founded in Cologne. In 2013, the German freelance TV journalist Pia Grzesiak made intensive use of her stay to look behind the “mountains of data” at HITS. In 2014, the Barcelona-based, award-winning science journalist Michele Catanzaro used his time at the institute to gain a deeper insight into the German scientific landscape and make contacts with many German journalists. And in 2015, the U.S. science writer Larry Krumenaker did research for e-Book projects in science education at HITS.
Dr. Peter Saueressig
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS)
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.