“The extra pounds you gain during the holidays will not only show up on your hips but will also affect your DNA.” This is the first sentence of a press release which appeared shortly before Christmas and which was selected as winner out of almost 100 other press releases. The press release describes a large-scale epidemiological study published in the journal Nature, which establishes a link between body mass index and epigenetic changes. Dr. Simone Wahl and Dr. Harald Grallert of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) were also involved in the study.
The idw Award for Science Communication was presented to the Communication Department of Helmholtz Zentrum München, which published the press release written by Dr. Helge Siemens with input from other team members of the Communication Department. In total, approximately 300 articles and contributions ranging from journals to boulevard titles have appeared that were based on this press release. In addition to professional journalistic quality, the jury’s selection criteria included news value and scientific importance. The first-place winner was awarded €2,000 for the further strengthening of quality in scientific communication.
“In this press release, fundamental scientific insights of great importance not only to the estimated one and a half billion overweight people around the world are presented in an extremely informative and easy-to-understand manner. The detailed background and additional information on the persons involved and the publications generated are also exceptional,” said Marco Finetti, press spokesman of the German Research Foundation (DFG), praising the award-winning press release in his laudatory speech.
Press release IDW (in German): Hohe Professionalität“ - idw-Preis für die besten Pressemitteilungen vergeben (High Professionalism – idw Award Presented for the Best Press Releases)
Press release Helmholtz Zentrum München (in German): Preis für Wissenschaftskommunikation 2016 geht ans Helmholtz Zentrum München (Award for Science Communication Goes to Helmholtz Zentrum München)
Award-winning press release: Übergewicht schlägt sich auch auf dem Erbgut nieder (Overweight Affects DNA Methylation)