The University's Language Deed of the Year will be awarded to a person, group, unit or other entity that has adapted and significantly advanced the implementation of the Language Policy of the University of Turku. The winning deed can contain different insights into how the University's language policy has been promoted by advancing the idea of multi- and parallel lingualism or by conducting and popularising science in Finnish so that the latest research results are available also in the citizens' native language. The deed or activity could have been launched at any time, as long as it still has an effect at the University.
You can vote for one of the three nominees: the Vastalääke association, Finnish Language Passport and Professor Ilari E. Sääksjärvi. Below you can read the justifications for each nominee. The Language Deed of the Year prize is awarded by the Working Group on Language Matters at the University's Opening Carnival in September.
The vote is open between 13–31 May.
Vastalääke is an association founded by the students of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Turku. The goal of the association is to popularise medicine and health sciences. The starting point for founding the association was a concern over the spread of incorrect and unclear health claims in media and particularly in the social media. Health topics are of interest to everyone but outside the discipline it can sometimes be hard to discern facts from fiction. Therefore, more research-based information that is easy to understand is needed in people's native language.
Vastalääke wants to encourage citizens, media representatives and decision-makers towards critical thinking and obtaining evidence-based information, and create dialogue between experts and the public.
Finnish Language Passport – Suomipassi
The Finnish Language Passport, i.e. Suomipassi, is a 'language passport' developed at the University of Turku in 2017 by the initiative of Finnish language teacher Jenni Laine from the Centre for Language and Communication Studies, and published as a mobile application in 2018. The aim of Suomipassi is to encourage Finnish language learners to use more Finnish outside the classroom in daily situations and to support them in the early stages of their Finnish language learning. The project also wants to encourage native Finnish speakers to speak Finnish even if the other person can't speak Finnish perfectly.
The Suomipassi mobile application was developed by the Centre for Language and Communication Studies and IT Services of the University of Turku and the Student Union.
Professor Ilari E. Sääksjärvi
Director of the University's Biodiversity Unit, Professor Ilari E. Sääksjärvi has studied parasitoid wasps for twenty years, especially in the Amazon rainforest. During his research career, Sääksjärvi has discovered hundreds of new insect species and described them to science.
In addition to his research, Sääksjärvi has actively popularised science and participated in several Children's University science lectures and Researchers' Night events, for instance. Furthermore, Professor Sääksjärvi has been visible in the media as an expert on biodiversity. With his actions, Sääksjärvi has conveyed the latest results in biodiversity research to the public and promoted the visibility of the discipline in Finland and in Finnish.