I was invited to Berlin to receive recognition of my PhD work, the Helmholtz Doctoral Prize. This prize is one of the highest honours that an early-career scientists (working in a Helmholtz institution) can receive for her/his PhD work. Yearly, altogether six prizes are given for six excellent young scientists representing each Helmholtz topics. The formal award ceremony took place in the Helmholtz annual meeting in Berlin.
Shaking hands with the Helmholtz president Professor Otmar D. Wiestler. Photo by Michael Reinhardt.
For a young researcher it was interesting to be able to participate to the Helmholtz annual meeting, where normally only established senior researchers or professors are invited. For this evening I had the front row seat to learn of the goals and research focuses of the Helmholtz society for the upcoming years. A lot was discussed of the use of "big data" and of future urban traffic. In the point of view of an atmospheric scientist, less focus was given for environmental questions. Statements for climate politic would have been welcome in the current political situation and especially related to the coming elections in Germany.
Besides the award ceremony, I had one day to get to know Berlin (and to visit in the Finnish embassy for renewal of my passport). Though living almost five years in Germany now, this was my first visit to the capital. Despite the rain and my flu I was able to visit the parliament buildings and museum island (without actually getting into the museums). Of course crowned with a Berlin "currywurst" in a brewery after the award ceremony. Not really the whole Berlin experience but I promise to come back someday!