As part of the Falling Walls Global Call and in search of the Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2024, we invited leading actors in science and academia worldwide to nominate the latest breakthroughs and outstanding science projects in 9 different categories, Physical Sciences being one of them. Our distinguished jury for Physical Sciences, chaired by Ian Walmsley, will select 10 excellent winners in this category and award one of them with the prestigious title Science Breakthrough of the Year, Physical Sciences.

Falling Walls seeks internationally recognised, established academics, and leaders in the observation and understanding of natural phenomena of the earth, atmosphere and space (e.g. chemistry, physics, astronomy), whose groundbreaking work contributes towards solving the world’s biggest challenges.

RELEVANT INFORMATION

Please find below everything you need to know about your Falling Walls Global Call submission in the Physical Science category. We recommend that you read all the information carefully. We look forward to your nominations.

WHAT IS THE FALLING WALLS GLOBAL CALL?

The Falling Walls Global Call is an international competition format that brings together science enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds. We are looking for the most recent and innovative Science Breakthroughs of the Year! We encourage and invite nominations and applications from all over the world. To help make the Falling Walls Science Summit 2024 the celebration that excellent science deserves, we launch the Falling Walls Global Call each year.

Nominations open 1 March and close 15 May 2024.

WHO CAN NOMINATE?

Nominations for the Science Breakthrough of the Year may be initiated by leading academics and academic institutions, universities, research organizations, companies, private and public research centres, academies, research funders, foundations, and individuals to nominate the latest breakthroughs in Physical Sciences. Self-nominations are accepted.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email. We are happy to help.

Who can be nominated?

In the Physical Sciences category, we are looking for internationally recognised, established academics, and leaders in the observation and understanding of natural phenomena of the earth, atmosphere and space (e.g. chemistry, physics, astronomy), whose groundbreaking work contributes towards solving the world’s biggest challenges.

We are looking for individual scientists as well as research groups of outstanding quality who

  • have made excellent, ground-breaking, recent achievements in their respective fields, nationally and internationally, and who stand out for their innovative strength;
  • promise to have a significant long-term impact on the research landscape and to contribute towards solving global challenges, such as having a positive effect on nature and humanity, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • translate scientific topics and their complexities in a way that makes them accessible and attractive to large sections of society.

Nominations will be considered and evaluated within the category, but their potential for interdisciplinary problem-solving will also be assessed.

HOW CAN I SUBMIT MY OWN PROJECT?

Self-nominations are accepted. To submit your own project, please run through the nomination process on our online platform. You will receive an email to confirm your nomination in order to give detailed information on your project.

Please note that submissions must be completed in English.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

  • Your work will be presented to a distinguished Jury and will get international visibility.
  • Be a part of the Falling Walls network and interact with a wide range of decision-makers, innovators and emerging talents from all over the world. Join an interdisciplinary community that is committed to bringing down barriers to address common challenges.
  • If chosen as one of the 10 winners in Physical Sciences, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Physical Sciences Symposium at the Falling Walls Science Summit on 8 November 2024.
  • Get the opportunity to enjoy the Falling Walls Science Summit 2024, a four-day conference with inspiring keynotes, discussions, and exciting pitches. Be part of a community of the most important researchers and thinkers of our time and discuss breakthroughs with global leaders in science, politics, business, and the media.
  • Take your chance to become the Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year in Physical Sciences and present your breakthrough work to a global audience on 9 November 2024 on our stage at the Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin.

We will use our expertise and years of experience in science communication to help make your research accessible and engaging to a wide audience, and to highlight its impact on society.

HOW DOES THE SELECTION PROCESS WORK?

STEP 1 – NOMINATION

Leading actors in science and academia worldwide nominate individual scientists or research groups by submitting a nomination form via our online platform by 15 May 2024. Nominated candidates will be contacted directly and asked to submit further details. Self-nomination is accepted.

STEP 2 – 30 FINALISTS

Submissions that meet the standard requirements will be evaluated by a shortlisting jury and the jury chair using our selection criteria (see below) to agree on a list of 30 finalists, who will be officially announced on our website in mid-June.

STEP 3 – 10 WINNERS

Our distinguished jury for Physical Sciences, chaired by Ian Walmsley, will evaluate all finalist applications based on the selection criteria and choose ten winners. The ten winners will be released in mid-August.

STEP 4 – THE FALLING WALLS SCIENCE BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR

The respective juries will select the Science Breakthroughs of the Year from the winners of each category. On 9 November, the anniversary of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall, the Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2024 will take up the stage at the Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin.

WHAT ARE THE SELECTION CRITERIA?

We are specifically looking for projects that address global challenges and represent scientific knowledge in an innovative way. Falling Walls always encourages interdisciplinary approaches to science and seeks outstanding scientists as well as research groups. The four selection criteria are:

  • Breakthrough Potential: How much of a paradigm shift does the research represent? Are there excellent, ground-breaking, recent achievements in their respective fields, nationally and internationally?
  • Level of Innovation: How new and original is this idea?
  • Societal & Artistic Relevance: How significant is the research for society today and in the future? Is there a positive effect on nature and humanity, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals? How relevant is the artistic component? How strong is the project’s artistic engagement with the subject matter?
  • Academic Excellence: Is the research of outstanding quality and is it likely to have a significant long-term impact on the research landscape and to contribute towards solving global challenges? Is the research able to translate scientific topics and their complexities in a way that makes them accessible and attractive to large sections of society?

Each evaluation criterion is considered proportionally. Nominations and Self-nominations will be considered and evaluated within the category, but their potential for interdisciplinary problem-solving will also be assessed.

WHEN AND WHERE DOES THE FALLING WALLS SCIENCE SUMMIT TAKE PLACE?

SAVE THE DATE: 7 – 10 NOVEMBER 2024

The Falling Walls Science Summit takes place from 1 – 10 November 2024 in Berlin.

7 NOVEMBER  FALLING WALLS PITCHES

A day of live pitches in the following categories:

  • Emerging Talents (Falling Walls Lab) for the next generation of outstanding innovators;
  • Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage) for inspiring science engagers; Science Start-Ups (Falling Walls Venture) for the science start-up community.

8 NOVEMBER  FALLING WALLS CIRCLE

Our format to connect science and society. Researchers, policymakers, business leaders, and society discuss the biggest challenges we face and the foresight that scientific breakthroughs can offer.

9 NOVEMBER  BREAKTHROUGH DAY

On 9 November, the anniversary of the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall, the Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2024 will take up the stage at the Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin.

10 NOVEMBER  UNCONFERENCE

This innovative format, intended to encourage natural interaction, has garnered enthusiastic support from both attendees—who actively shape its content—and organisers, affording them a degree of relaxation. Serving as the new fourth day of the summit, with its non-agenda approach, this day offers a unique platform where discussions about the future agenda can organically emerge, building upon the inspiration gleaned from the preceding three days.

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about the Nomination and the Self-nomination process, please contact us via email. 

Terms and Conditions

jury 2024

Counting more than 100 jurors across 10 categories, each Breakthrough is determined by a distinguished world-class jury under the leadership of renowned experts in their respective fields. The Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year 2024 in Physical Sciences is selected by a distinguished Jury chaired by Ian Walmsley.

The members of this year’s jury will be announced here gradually.

The FALLING WALLS SCIENCE BREAKTHROUGH of the year 2023 in PHYSICAL Sciences

LIBOR ŠMEJKAL: BREAKING THE WALL TO QUANTUM MAGNETS

By analysing all possible mathematical symmetries of the spin in magnetic crystals Libor Smejkal identified altermagnets and opened new routes toward sustainable nanoelectronics.

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