The Fritt Ord Tribute 2010
Harald Eia, Dag Olav Hessen and Bjørn Roar Vassnes

The Fritt Ord Foundation has decided to award the Freedom of Expression Tribute to Harald Eia, Dag Olav Hessen and Bjørn Roar Vassnes.

Harald Eia is awarded the Fritt Ord Foundation Tribute for, through the programme Brainwash, having precipitated one of the most heated debates on research in recent times. The popular science TV series Brainwash, focusing on biology and society(broadcast on NRK in the spring of 2010) addressed controversial issues about, among other things, gender, sex and race. Although Eia’s journalistic methods have been subject to criticism, the series sparked growing interest in the correlation between nature and nurture, and promoted academic criticism and a renewed dialogue about traditions from different academic disciplines.

Dag Olav Hessen is awarded the Fritt Ord Foundation Tribute for, in an engaging manner, having conveyed scientific insight and making well-grounded contributions to the public debate. Dag Hessen is a professor of Biology at the University of Oslo, and is affiliated with the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis. Hessen has published a large number of books that are very strong academically. He has served as a scientific expert in several media in an outstanding manner.

Bjørn Roar Vassnes is awarded the Fritt Ord Foundation Tribute for his all-round, critical and independent contributions to the communication of scientific knowledge and debate. Bjørn Vassnes has, as a science journalist, been innovative in several areas of communication. He helped start the popular TV programme “Schrödingers cat” on NRK and, through a series of books and articles, he has helped promote scientific themes across disciplinary divides.

The Tributes were presented on Tuesday, 14 December 2010, in the Fritt Ord Foundation’s premises.