History - Retrospective - Helsinki 1996

Heureka Science Centre - The Presidential Palace

The 8th edition of the EU Contest for Young Scientists opened up to the icy lands of Finland. And this is no joke: the Helsinki University of Technology and its Low Temperature Laboratory has carried out research in ultra-low temperature physics and cryogenic applications. The laboratory has achieved several world records in the field, coming to only a fraction of a degree from absolute zero.
The University of Helsinki guided, too, the first steps in physical chemistry of Artturi I. Virtanen. Born in Helsinki in 1895, Virtanen realised that there was some similarity among the different processes of bacterial fermentation that occur during the first stages in the decomposition of sugar.
From then on, the application of biochemistry to agriculture and the dairy industry have become a very relevant part of his laboratory work. Among the advancements performed in this field are the creation of a theoretical basis for the preservation of fresh fodder and the development of a practical method on this basis, the so-called AIV method that won him the Nobel Award in 1995. The aim of this project was to promote an effective utilisation of protein-rich crops, and to produce milk of the same vitamin content in winter as that produced on summer pastures. He did touch upon many other biology-related issues, e. g. the isolation of new amino acids and organic sulphur compounds from different plants and fodder.
Professor at Helsinki University from 1931 to 1948, Virtanen was always acknowledged and respected amongst the public and the academic arena because of his ability to popularise his findings and science in general.
Still another name: Adolf Nordenskiold (1832-1901). Nordenskiold was a famous mineralogist who temporarily worked for Helsinki University but was lately discarded after a personal conflict with the then ruling Russian authorities. From 1858 to 1883 he actively explored Greenland and Spitzbergen (part of the Svalbard archipelago).
But there is so much more about the Finnish capital. There is, to start off with, an attractive neo-baroque building that is worth visiting and close to the city centre: the Natural History Museum. It has been used for zoological exhibitions since 1923, and it consists of several departments that are continuously renewed. Furthermore, its collection is very likely to be enlarged and botany, geology and palaeontology will be part of those exhibitions in the near future as well. The reason being that the prodigies of nature and science must be thoroughly displayed to the public. Science owes itself to the public, to society in general; and this is a key principle that is completely shared by scientific competitions such as the EU Contest.


PRIZE WINNERS

FIRST PRIZES

  • Tobias Kippenberg : "A Car Ice-detection System Based on Electromagnetic Waves" D
  • Yann Ollivier : "Flexibility of an Articulate Lattice" FL
  • Wouter Couzijn : "Locator: A Self-positioning Robot" NL
  • SECOND PRIZES

  • Emil Laslo : "Braille display" H
  • Maciej Kurowski - Tomasz Osman : "Common solution sets of real polynomials" PL
  • David Kelnar : "AMES, the accessible multimedia education system" UK
  • THIRD PRIZES

  • Andreas Derr: "MediNet: an intelligent system for medical diagnosis" D
  • George Albanis - Despina Scholidou: "Boundaries and stellar content of the LH52 and LH53 associations" GR
  • Patricia Lyne - Rowena Mooney - Elsie O'Sullivan: "Analysis of indigenous Irish strains of honeybee" IRL
  • Radoslaw Skibinski: "The oligocene fish: discovery and reconstitution" PL
  • Thomas Bürg: "An intelligent six-legged walking machine" CH
  • Justin Marston: "The dripping tap as a model chaotic system" UK
  • TRAVEL AWARD TO THE NOBEL PRIZE CEREMONY

  • Yann Ollivier: "Flexibility of an articulate lattice" F
  • Wouter Couzijn: "Locator: a self-positioning robot" NL

    TRAVEL AWARD TO THE ISEF IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

  • Tobias Kippenberg : " A Car Ice-detection System Based on Electromagnetic Waves " D
  • Patricia Lyne - Rowena Mooney - Elsie O'Sullivan: "Analysis of indigenous Irish strains of the honeybee" IRL
  • George Albanis - Despina Scholidou: "Boundaries and stellar content of the LH52 and LH53 associations" GR


  • TRAVEL AWARD TO THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL YOUTH SCIENCE FORUM
  • Edwin Dertien: "FIRE: the fire-detecting, intelligent, robot extinguisher" NL
  • JURY MEMBERS

    Gisela Anton
    Sue Kingsman
    Juan M. García Ruiz
    Joseph Geraedts
    Kerksti Hermansson
    Edgard Laes
    George Kokolakis
    Maria Emilia Manso
    Dorte Olesen
    Sauro Pasini
    Tytti Sutela
    Eugene Meieran