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Prof. Michael Zürn receives the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis 2021 for outstanding achievements in science and research

News from Nov 05, 2021

Director of SCRIPTS Prof. Michael Zürn was awarded the 14th Berliner Wissenschaftspreis of the Governing Mayor of Berlin and Wissenschaftssenator (Senator for Science) Michael Müller. The award also honours Michael Zürn's contribution to the development of Berlin as a centre of science. In addition to scientific excellence, a decisive factor for the award is the practical implementation of research. Michael Zürn has achieved merit in both these aspects, notably as co-director of SCRIPTS (together with Prof. Tanja A. Börzel).

Next to SCRIPTS, Michael Zürn is Director of the Research Unit "Global Governance" at WZB Berlin Social Science Center and Professor of International Relations at Freie Universität Berlin. His latest book "Die demokratische Regression" (the democratic regression) (Suhrkamp, 2021), written with Armin Schäfer, explores the reasons for the rise of authoritarian populist parties. A record of the book launch can be watched here.

In his acceptance speech, Michael Zürn also thanked his colleagues of the Cluster SCRIPTS and pointed to its relevance in strengthening the social sciences in Berlin. He mentioned the project on science and truth in democracy that he is currently working on as part of the Cluster. Addressing this project, he said: "Science does democracy no favours when science colonizes politics, i.e., becomes partially overreaching. If political debate is all too hastily broken off with reference to scientifically determined necessities, if science is used to depoliticize, then conversely there is a danger that the regulative idea of finding the truth in the democratic processes will be fundamentally called into question."

The Berliner Wissenschaftspreis is endowed with 40,000 € and serves to support the institution of the awardee.