The Machiavelli Prize 2020 has been awarded to professor Marion Koopmans, scientific director Emerging Infectious Diseases of the NCOH and Head of the Viroscience Department of the Erasmus MC, and professor Diederik Gommers, Head of the IC Department Erasmus MC. The prize is awarded annually for outstanding achievement in the field of public communication.
Koopmans and Gommers received the prize for their unwavering commitment to making coronavirus science accessible to a wide audience. “Enthusiastically and tirelessly, they know time and time again to distinguish facts and fables about the virus in an understandable language”, according to the jury report of the Machiavelli foundation.
“The conscious search for a dialogue with doubters about science and opponents of the policy has contributed to a greater understanding, especially among young people”, the jury report continues. “It is to the credit of Koopmans and Gommers that they have made informing a wide audience their calling, in addition to their daily work in the urgent fight against the corona virus. A vocation that both exercise with great self-evidence and skill ”.
The prize has been awarded on Monday 29 March by Marja Wagenaar, chairman of the Machiavelli Foundation. It is the 32nd time that the prize has been awarded.
Previous prize winners included Elliot Higgins of journalistic collective Bellingcat, “the threatened mayor” Jos Wienen, SheDecides, Hugo Borst & Carin Gaemers, the Dutch Safety Board, RTL Netherlands, mayor Eberhard van der Laan, Bauke Vaatstra, HRH Princess Máxima, national coach Bert van Marwijk and investigative journalist Jeroen Smit.
The recording of the event can be watched here: