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Research Department of Genetics
University Medical Center Groningen

2nd in University Prize 2010

28 October 2010

The Genenkrakers team won 2nd prize in the Academische Jaarprijs 2010 in Leiden yesterday. It was tense to the very last minute. But despite a fantastic presentation by our team, the prize slipped away, although (small comfort) the jury was not unanimous in its decision.

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The Genenkrakers went for gold but ended with silver! Of course, it’s a real pity that we weren’t able to return to Groningen with the prize of € 100,000 but we can all look back on a fantastic period. In the past months we haven’t just worked hard at putting together a really strong plan, but we’ve also taken part in fantastic events in which we’ve been able to tell the general public about DNA and our research, for example during the Noorderzon international arts festival and the Healthy Ageing week. In fact, we may have reached a larger number of people during the preparations for the finals than some real Academische Jaarprijs plans.

The other semi-finalist (de Vliegkunstenaars (the Flying Artists), Wageningen University ) had a wonderful presentation with a dance and a real Chilean Blue eagle that flew through the theatre. A difficult stunt to match. However, we received many compliments about our presentation, which was extremely well thought out and presented superbly by Peter, Eva and Paul.

What the jury didn’t like about our plan was that people wouldn’t go to the Railway Museum to find out about DNA. Although we thought that was in fact a good point, since we wanted to reach people who weren’t necessarily already interested in DNA but who would be surprised and amazed at everything shown in the train. The fact that they could walk through the train in 15 minutes also indicated that they wouldn’t have come to the museum primarily to see the LifeLines Express, but since they were there, they would have taken the extra time to walk through the exhibition. And that was exactly what happened in Noorderzon: most people didn’t come primarily for the Science Pavilion but it was still one of the most successful attractions there.

We were also criticized for being too well prepared: the fact that the plans for the train were ready and printed on a large banner created the impression that we would implement our plan anyway. Alas, this is far from the truth since our plan was not only ambitious but also expensive to execute. And without the prize money, unfortunately, we can’t proceed to implement it.

We’re very pleased that we all took up this challenge. The cooperation in the department to work together for the Academische Jaarprijs was fantastic and we thank everyone who contributed in some way. The final in Leiden was tremendously exciting and it was great to see part of the theatre coloured orange by our fans wearing their T-shirts with the text ‘Ik heb ‘t GEN’ interwoven in ‘GroninGEN’. We all have the GroninGEN and we can be proud of it. And from today we have an impressive silver trophy on show in the department!

The GenenKrakers!


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Last modified:18 December 2023 08.30 a.m.
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