Each year, the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences awards one person from the faculty's staff who has been actively involved in societal impact work. The winner, Professor Alf Norkko, was announced at the Faculty's Oktoberfest event on 27 October 2022.
Norkko was recognized for his active contribution to societal decision-making, participation in debate in social and traditional media, popularisation of his research on the Baltic Sea, increasing visibility of the Tvärminne Zoological Station, as well as active and successful fundraising.
"It is a great honour and I am happy that our efforts at Tvärminne, to highlight the importance of healthy seas for a sustainable future to a broader public, are recognized," says Alf Norkko.
“We are living through a time of exceptionally rapid environmental change, and we need everybody onboard for positive change to happen. It is our duty to engage with society to facilitate knowledge-based action and progress. Here it is great to note that most people are actually interested!”
“We have over the past several years received funding from foundations for projects specifically focusing on outreach, and now more and more on science education. We have also consciously wanted to bring up how beautiful the Baltic Sea is and used lots of underwater photos - we have tried to focus on positive things instead of just talking about the problems all the time. We strongly believe, that what you know about, you also want to protect.”
“I want to emphasize, however, that our efforts at Tvärminne have been a group effort.”
The winner was selected by the Social Interaction and Communication Group of the Faculty. The selection criteria for the 2021 Influencer of the Year Award were as follows: A faculty member who is:
- an engaging and active influencer/discussant in social and/or traditional media
- a meritorious contributor to the promotion of awareness and dissemination of his/her discipline or research in society
- has made a significant contribution to societal decision-making
- actively involved in business cooperation or entrepreneurship development for the benefit of the faculty
- made a significant contribution to the faculty's fundraising activities
- has made new contributions to society.
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