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Harald Eia, Dag Hessen and Bjørn Vassnes receive the Fritt Ord Foundation Tribute

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Foto: Linda Bournane Engelberth

The Fritt Ord Foundation Tribute acknowledges remarkable efforts to promote free speech, often in connection with current events. The tribute is accompanied by NOK 100 000 to each recipient. The Fritt Ord Foundation's Board has resolved to award the following tributes:



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.



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.



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.

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 will be presented at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, 14 December 2010, in the Fritt Ord Foundation's premises at Uranienborgveien 2 in Oslo.



In the field of science, the Fritt Ord Foundation is cooperating with the University of Oslo Library on a new Mathematics and Natural Science Library and the Science Debate programme.



The Fritt Ord Foundation, Oslo is a public-utility private foundation that aspires to promote freedom of expression and public debate.



See the list of previous recipients of the Fritt Ord Foundation Tribute





Press Release: Wednesday, 8 December 2010



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Supported projects – examples

Support for journals
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Five journals figure on the list of recipients of the Fritt Ord Foundation's minor grants in June 2014. The journal Manifest Tidsskrift received support for a series of articles "Piketty to the People", and the philosophical journal Agora for a themed issue on racism. Seismopolite received a grant for its publication about freedom of expression in photography, film, theatre and performance art, while the Association of 2007 for the Promotion of Artistic Reflection and Debate received a grant for next year's issue of the art journal Second-Class Mail. Support was also granted for magazine Fanfare's #4 on the concept of "bullshit".

A list has been published of the minor grants awarded by the Freedom of Expression Foundation in June 2014 (in Norwegian).

Who is your hero?
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The Fritt Ord Foundation Competition for Pupils in Upper Secondary School will continue with a new topic in the upcoming school year: "Freedom of expression's heroes and anti-heroes".

To help the participants get started, we would like a contribution from you. Send in a short film clip in which you answer the question about who is your hero or anti-hero, and state your reason why in one sentence. Send the film to post@fritt-ord.no or as ‪#‎frittordhelt‬ on Twitter.

Manuscript support for new books
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The Fritt Ord Foundation's round of major allocations in June 2014 included grants for 20 Norwegian writers to support the creation of new factual prose. For example, Sidsel Wold received NOK 150 000 for a book project with the working title "How to understand Syria?", while Sølvi Wærhaug received NOK 100 000 for a book on the history of the school of home economics that takes its point of departure in its founder Minna Wetlesen. NOK 150 000 were awarded to Ola Henmo for his documentary book about Karen Friele. Håvard Rem was awarded NOK 125 000 for the book ”Norwegian lyrics”, an historical literary review of Norwegian-language lyrics from 1945 to 2015, and Kjetil Jakobsen was granted NOK 150 000 to work on the second and third volume of the work "The World Citizenry's History of Ideas".

See the entire list of the major grants made by the Fritt Ord Foundation in June 2014.

Contributions to blog projects
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The minor grants in May 2014 include two journalistic projects based on blogs as a means of communicating information. Through a blog and a newspaper column in the newspaper Dagsavisen, musician and journalist Aslak Borgersrud will report from the corridors of Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament, under the title "A Lout in Parliament". In their project "The Identity of Ukraine", the young journalists Eskil Wie and Frode Nagel Dahl will communicate news items from Ukraine through blogs, websites, exhibitions and books.

A list of the minor grants awarded in May 2014 has been posted.

Festival support
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When processing applications for major grants in April 2014, support was given to seven festivals. The Bollywood Festival Norway 2014 and the project "Nobel-Myanmar Literary Festival: Literature: for Peace" were among the recipients, along with the Non-fiction Festival in Oslo and the Festival University at the Oslo Book Festival. Grants were also awarded to the Oslo International Poetry Festival, the Trondheim Documentary Festival and the Literary Festival Words in the Borderland in Fredrikstad. Most of the festivals are scheduled for autumn 2014.

See the list of the major grants awarded by the Fritt Ord Foundation's in April 2014.