German science journalist Kerstin Hoppenhaus was the HITS “Journalist in Residence” from July until December 2018.
Hoppenhaus studied Biology in Mainz, Tübingen, Jena (Germany), and Lyon (France) in addition to studying directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. Since 2005, she has worked as a freelance director of documentaries, research projects, and online endeavors. She is also co-editor of an e-book on the role of online videos in science journalism and science communication.
Kerstin Hoppenhaus arrived at the institute in July. She used the opportunity to meet the HITS researchers from different groups on several occasions, including at the open house event and at an internal interdisciplinary meeting. “I would like to use my stay to better understand the interplay between science and data,” Hoppenhaus stated. “On this basis, my goal is to develop new media formats that are suited to grasping the complexity of the new fields or data and make them accessible to laypeople.”
During her time at the institute, Hoppenhaus intends to discuss areas of conflict between science and society in an internal seminar with HITS researchers. Moreover, there will be a public talk on the media transfer of scientific topics to the public. Finally, Hoppenhaus will visit the numerous university and extramural research institutes in Heidelberg.
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.