The J.V. Snellman award, granted for outstanding efforts in disseminating scholarly knowledge, was today bestowed upon Mikael Fogelholm, professor of nutrition, at the University of Helsinki's annual celebration.

Mikael Fogelholm is the most prominent media figure in his field of nutritional science. He has been a tireless champion of scientific information in debates on nutrition – which have at times degraded into quite the food fight.

Fogelholm considers active interaction with the general public an essential part of the work of a nutritional scientist.

"Our primary duty is to promote the health of the populace by producing scientific information relating to nutrition. If we want to promote the health of large groups of people, we cannot stay in our laboratories. We have to disseminate information actively so that it can offer real benefit to people," says Fogelholm.

As recognition for his outstanding efforts in disseminating scholarly knowledge, Fogelholm received the J.V. Snellman award at the University of Helsinki’s annual celebration on 23 March 2016. The award jury notes that Fogelholm is always willing to be at the disposal of the media, and he helps and encourages other scholars in making their voices heard. In addition, Mikael Fogelholm teaches researchers to popularise science and to communicate to the public about their research.

The J.V. Snellman award was first granted in 1981, and the prize amount is €6,000.

The University must break solution models based on a single truth

In his speech at the annual celebration, Rector Jukka Kola of the University of Helsinki stated that the problems plaguing Finland and the world are complex. The duty of the University is to produce research information to benefit society.

"Universities must meet these challenges by producing high-quality research and by giving young professionals and specialists the multidisciplinary expertise to study and assess the problems mentioned here, maybe even to prevent them. We must break solution models based on a single truth and avoid tunnel vision. We have our responsibilities as pioneers,” stated Kola.

Rector Jukka Kola's speech

Professor of European History Laura Kolbe's speech