What is impact?
impact, the magazine for applied sciences and art, employs text, imagery and film presentations to manifest research and development projects at Darmstadt University and render them lifelike and vivid. In 2018 Hochschulkommunikation at h_da launched the online medium impact. Its goal is to demonstrate and present how effective and fascinating application-driven scientific and artistic projects can be. impact generally portrays projects whereby staff and students at h_da seek solutions to problems for commercial partners, or renowned institutions, then develop these to practical application level. The fruits of many of these projects developed by teachers and lecturers, students, and general staff at the h_da, are of direct relevance to meeting current social, economical and ecological challenges. impact brings several of these endeavours to the attention of a wider audience.
Employing multi-media contents, impact is oriented towards a public interested in scientific issues. Moreover, the magazine prompts teachers, lecturers and staff alike at the h_da to play an interested role in their colleagues‘ endeavours – thus playing its part in encouraging the increasingly inter-disciplinary orientation of many activities at the university. In-house and external editors, photographers and film-makers then translate and transform the scientific issues into brief, informative articles: in-depth interviews and articles, high quality photos and short film formats. Impact‘s guiding principle is: scientific communication devoid of any technical jargon.
Simon Colin became one of the two press spokespersons at Darmstadt University in 2016. Previously he had worked for over 10 years as a freelance journalist and copywriter for trade magazines such as Buchreport (Book Review) and Musikmarkt (Music Market), as well as for daily newspapers such as the Darmstädter Echo, and for companies including Sony Music and Procter & Gamble. When he can find the time from his work as spokesperson, in order to write articles for impact, these will frequently focus on the people who work behind the scenes on scientific projects: from model tunnel building students to Wedekindig chroniclers.
What do carnival sessions, catastrophic floods in East Africa and tile-laying robots have in common? Nico Damm has reported on each and every one of them. After studying politics in Heidelberg and Paris, he completed a journalistic traineeship at the Darmstädter Echo newspaper. Afterwards he worked as a freelance journalist for ‘T-Online’, among others, then later on various projects during a two-year parental leave based in Kenya, among other locations. Since 2014 he has been primarily quenching his curiosity for fascinating topics and issues by following research projects at the h_da – a genuine dream job, by dint of the multitude of shrewd, intelligent minds around here! In addition to pen and paper, he will also frequently reach for a video camera to augment his articles for impact.
It all began with the ‘slipper animalcule’ microbe. During her biology studies, the question of how microscopic single-cell microbes might suffer provoked an interest in possible associations between science and ethics. In conjunction with humanist study courses, intense Radio-Activity, bare-faced curiosity and a tiny quant of good fortune, the brightly-lit path ahead opened up: Christina Janssen took up trainee work at the German national radio broadcaster ‘Deutschlandfunk’, based in Cologne. She eventually continued to work there for around 15 years as a political reporter, travelling throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the USA then finally to report from Prague as a correspondent for ARD-Radio. Afterwards things became clear once more: only the Modau river could possibly upstage Moldavia. She felt drawn here neither by a slipper-faced microbe nor a slipper-wearing couch potato, but rather many, many fascinating aspects, including impact as a vital part.
Astrid Ludwig has been writing about the Darmstadt University landscape for 20 years. Initially, for many years, as an editor at the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, and currently as a freelance journalist. Born in the Rhineland region, she now works for scientific and university magazines, such as impact yet also as an author for the FAZ and FAS newspapers. She has a genuine interest in those people who are behind exciting research projects, and for glimpses behind the scenes. Additionally, she writes reports, plus gardening and travel columns for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. She deepened her passion for all things botanical as a volunteer in the famous ‘Garden of England’ area, then wrote a book about it.
Daniel Timme earned his first ‘price per line’ as a freelancer at a regional newspaper in 1994. His speciality was sport, and football in particular. After graduating in sports science, German philology and educational theory, in 2004 he took up trainee work at the Darmstädter Echo newspaper, where he remained as an editor until 2010. An agency-intermezzo followed. From 2012 onwards ‘dat’ earned his bread as editor and proof-reader. In 2018 he experienced the launch of impact as a substitute research editor. Since 2020 ‘dat’ is the public relations officer for alumni, research and transfer at the h_da. His passion for sport hasn’t waned – even if the types of sport have altered in the meantime to more age-friendly biking, running and hiking.
‘Being close to people’ is a consistent guiding principle for the freelance journalist and editor Alexandra Welsch. This also applies for her key social and society political themes such as science, which is after all, pursued by and for people. After taking up trainee work, then editorial work at the Darmstädter Echo newspaper, she chose quite deliberately to work as a freelancer, in order to be able to choose herself, as much as possible, which diverse themes she wished to focus on. In the meantime, the linguistic graduate is also the visiting lecturer for online journalism at Darmstadt University, where she is able to effectively pass on her practical experiences to younger generations.