Emma Frans Voice of the Year at this year’s Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism awards
Emma Frans, researcher at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was awarded the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism in the Voice of the Year category on 23 November “for addressing the resistance to facts in such an entertaining manner and with scientific precision revealing the Internet's incessant myths”.
1. What does it feel like to have won the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism in the Voice of the Year category?
– I feel extremely happy and proud. And also a little bit surprised at winning the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism because I don’t consider myself to be a journalist but a researcher.
2. Why do you think the prize went to just you?
– I think I contribute to a unique perspective in the public dialogue that feels important and relevant in today’s society and times where it is becoming increasingly important to think scientifically.
3. What do you think the prize will lead to?
– I hope this will send signals to academia that the third task needs to be prioritised and that researchers need to be more visible to the public.
4. How would you like to continue to work on/against resistance to facts?
– I will continue to advocate a scientific attitude and emphasise the importance of science and facts in the public debate. But I also fight to win the public’s trust. We listen to those we have faith in and that is why we can counteract resistance to facts by ensuring that those who advocate facts have the people’s trust.
5. What is your best advice on how to separate fact from fiction in the torrent of information we live in today?
– It’s important that statements have sources that can be traced and that are credible. Senders who are independent are more credible than people who are driven by financial or political interests. Then it’s important to check underpinning information as a whole and not just select the information that backs up what we already think or what we want to believe.
6. What can motivate researchers to prioritise popular scientific communications to the public?
– The fact that I was awarded the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism is extremely motivating for me personally, but I think it also sends signals to other researchers about how very much appreciated it is to have people who fight to reach out with knowledge.
- Emma Frans is a post-doc researcher at KI, researching in psychiatry and pharmaceutical epidemiology.
- She recently published the book Larmrapporten – att skilja vetenskap från trams [Scare Stories – Separating Science from Nonsense] (Volante).