On 8 January 2018, the 2017 Hermesdorf International Award was granted to neuroscientist Martin Dresler. The Hermesdorf Award is given to Radboud researchers who have received special attention in the media over the past year for their work. The Executive Board grants the awards on the recommendation of a jury under the direction of the former Rector Magnificus, Bas Kortmann.
Neuroscientist Martin Dresler, demonstrated with his international colleagues, that the art of exceptional memory performance can be taught. A six-week memory training programme of 30 minutes per day made a “normal” brain seem more like that of a memory champion. In addition to the research showing that a super memory can indeed be achieved through training—something which had been doubted until then—it also had an immediate application for the public: one that can be used by children at school, but also by elderly people who want to keep their brains healthy.
The results were published on hundreds of websites, including a number of large international ones from the American, English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Bosnian and Danish media landscape. Along with their colleagues, Martin Dresler and Boris Konrad gave an enthusiastic report of the research.
The jury praises the research for its originality, relevance and appealing nature as well as the way in which Dresler and Konrad presented the results in so many different international media.
The two other awards, Hermesdorf Award and Hermesdorf Award for Young Talent, are given to ecologists Hans de Kroon and Caspar Hallmann and thanatologist Brenda Mathijssen respectively.