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Springer bee expert Juergen Tautz wins prize for public communication

Juergen Tautz will receive a special discretionary prize as part of the 2008 European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Award for Communication in the Life Sciences. The award was made in recognition of Tautz's long-term public communication activity on a single organism using all available media. Tautz is the author of the Springer book The Buzz About Bees, a fascinating treatise looking at all aspects of bees and bee colonies.

The Buzz about Bees features over 200 lush, color photographs of bees, honeycombs, and hives and was published in May 2008. The magazine Bee Culture wrote: "The most up-to-date honeybee biology book I've ever seen. It has an incredible collection of photos showing things never seen, and it explains much of honeybee biology with a clarity seldom reached..." The original German version (Phaenomen Honigbiene) was a bestseller and sold almost 20,000 copies in 2007, the first year it appeared.

Juergen Tautz is a world-leading zoologist with a particular interest in exploring the life and evolution of honeybees. He considers them an optimal model system to investigate the inner structure and functioning of highly complex systems exhibiting "intelligent" behavior. Honeybees are currently under threat of extinction and illustrate the dangers of global warming to animals and humans.

Tautz pursues an active research program in his capacity as professor and head of the BEEgroup at the Biocenter of the University of Wuerzburg. He has published 140 scientific articles and given more than 400 lectures at universities worldwide. His research focus is honeybee biology and specifically the principles of disease resistance. As a science communicator, Tautz targets teachers, high school and university students as well as broader public audiences with considerable success.

The EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences is presented annually to a practicing scientist in Europe for outstanding communication with the public. Juergen Tautz will receive the discretionary prize of 2,500 euros at the 7th Annual ELSO Meeting in Nice, France, on 1 September 2008.


Contact: Joan Robinson

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