Vuoden Tiedekynä 2015 Academic Writing Award

On 25 February we presented the Vuoden Tiedekynä 2015 award for exemplary use of the Finnish language in environmental research. The 25,000 euro award was given to Jari Lyytimäki (Ph.D.) and Janne Rinne (M.Sc.) for their book Valon varjopuolet ­– valosaaste ympäristöongelmana (Gaudeamus, 2013; ‘The dark side of light – light pollution as an environmental problem’).

The winners of the Vuoden Tiedekynä 2015 award were chosen by Katja Bargum (Ph.D.), who is a journalist. Bargum’s reasons were as follows:

The book by Jari Lyytimäki and Janne Rinne was written as part of a Finnish Environment Institute three-year research project on light pollution.  The problems of light pollution involve many fields, from physics, biology and medicine to technology, community planning and aesthetics. The book moves with ease between all of these topics. The authors have an excellent grasp of the rich and varied concepts related to light pollution and sustain a beautiful style of writing that is easy to read from one subject to the next. The book offers information and ideas written helpfully in clear and solid Finnish. It has a clear structure and the text guides the reader along logically and without effort. While the book is intended for a general audience, it also introduces research knowledge that is new from the Finnish perspective and no doubt will provide an important source for researchers in the field.

Light pollution means artificial light that can have a detrimental effect on the natural environment or on human health and comfort. The books draws attention to this rather obvious yet rarely noticed environmental problem. It presents the different effects of light pollution in a comprehensive manner and encourages the reader to reduce disruptive lighting. It is not about a return to the Dark Ages but about a more targeted, efficient and beautiful use of light.

The purpose of the Vuoden Tiedekynä award is to promote academic writing in the Finnish language and the accessibility of research knowledge and to improve the status of academic writing in the Finnish language.