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Press Release No. 55 | 12 October 2009
Second Season of DFG Science TV a Success

User base considerably expanded - Used in education

The second season of the internet television service from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has also proved a complete success. With its video portal www.dfg-science-tv.de the DFG continues to reach a broad and increasingly younger audience. In DFG Science TV, outstanding DFG funded projects are presented on the internet over a period of ten to twelve weeks in three-minute short films. With approximately two thirds of the video journals now online, the DFG can look back on some positive interim results: Over the summer months, the portal managed to log over 10,000 different users, who viewed around 170,000 pages of content. In addition to these, internet surfers follow the series on social networking sites such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter or the DFG Science TV partner sites and post comments on the programmes.
"These numbers prove to us that our project is on the right track in getting young people, in particular, interested in science. Because the internet has become the most important medium for the young, and this is precisely where our content is drawing them in", says DFG President Professor Matthias Kleiner.

"At present we're focussing our attention particularly on schools. Because there are altogether over 100 films now available to download, they are ideal for targeting at educational use, and the variety of the subjects allows a wide selection for different school subjects", adds Dr. Eva-Maria Streier, DFG Press Officer and Project Leader of DFG Science TV. The research projects in the second season range from ecology and climate research, behavioural biology and archaeology to the investigation of gravitational waves in physics. In the short films, the researchers manage to present even supposedly "dry" mathematical topics in an entertaining and informative way.

The films, which are produced in German and English, illustrate current research work from various disciplines. In addition, the films include background material that offers a deeper insight into the careers and daily work of the researchers. The material for the films is shot by the participating researchers themselves. A professional production company condenses the "first cut" raw material into three-minute short films based on a script drawn up in advance. With the internet films, the researchers themselves obtain a modern communication tool for visually presenting their scientific work, nationally and internationally.

The concept of the "research film journal", until now unique in Germany, was developed jointly with film makers Gisela Graichen and Peter Prestel. In the second season, the idea was further extended and adapted to the needs of younger users. New short films will continue to go online on a daily basis until mid-November. An SMS service, newsletter and RSS feed provide information about new releases, and a mobile access service delivers DFG Science TV "on the move". At the same time the site is also aiming at distribution over other portals and social networking sites. Collaborations with other websites, for example the German Foreign Office internet portal "Young Germany", or the careers portal of the weekly newspaper "DIE ZEIT", as well as almost 1000 links to other webpages are continuously expanding the portal's user community. The messaging service Twitter is used to report on updates.

In May this year the portal was awarded the intermedia Golden Globe for the first season of films, and also won a prize for outstanding media communication at the World Media Festival in Hamburg in the WebTV/Information category.

Further Information

Website in German:

Website in English:

Contacts for DFG Science TV:

  • Dr. Eva-Maria Streier,
    Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,
    (DFG, German Research Foundation),
    Press and Public Relations Manager,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2250,
    Eva-Maria.Streier@dfg.de
  • Cornelia Pretzer,
    Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,
    (DFG, German Research Foundation),
    Press and Public Relations Advisor,
    Multimedia,
    Tel. +49 30 206121-4328,
    Cornelia.Pretzer@dfg.de
  • Susanne Roth,
    Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,
    (DFG, German Research Foundation),
    Press and Public Relations Advisor,
    DFG Science TV,
    Tel. +49,228,885-2376,
    Susanne.Roth@dfg.de