Marc Klein Wolt receives Willem de Graaff Prize for popularizing astronomy

Astronomer Dr. Marc Klein Wolt (Radboud University Nijmegen) will be awarded the Willem de Graaff Prize 2022 for popularizing astronomy. This has just been announced by the Royal Netherlands Astronomical Society, professional association of the Dutch and Flemish astronomers. He received the prize on May 30 during the Dutch Astronomers' Conference.

Marc Klein Wolt in a video lecture on how to take a picture of a black hole. Photo: screen capture YouTube channel Universiteit van Nederland.
Marc Klein Wolt in a video lecture on how to take a picture of a black hole. Photo: screen capture YouTube channel Universiteit van Nederland.

Marc Klein Wolt (1974) is director of the Radboud Radio Lab, which among other things designs and builds antennas and instruments for radio telescopes.

Klein Wolt has been a welcome guest at media outlets such as the NOS, VPRO, de Volkskrant and BNR radio for years. He became widely known through the podcast De Man en de Maan from the NTR. In that prize-winning podcast documentary maker Saar Slegers follows him during his attempts to get a radio-telescope antenna beyond the moon with a Chinese rocket. Klein Wolt also gave a video lecture at the Universiteit van Nederland on how to take a picture of a black hole. Furthermore, he is a 'regular space host' at Welkom bij de club!, the daily radio show of Eva Koreman and Frank van der Lende on NPO 3FM.

Klein Wolt is as well involved in education and outreach projects in Namibia centered around the Africa Millimetre Telescope. Together with the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), he is dedicated to getting Namibian schoolchildren, students and teachers interested in astronomy. One way this is done is by having African astronomers visit local schools with a mobile planetarium.

The jury of the Willem de Graaff Prize is very pleased with the great impact and diversity of Marc Klein Wolt's activities. They praise the fact that Klein Wolt focuses on young and old, at home and abroad.

About the Willem de Graaff Prize
Prof. Dr. Willem de Graaff was chairman of the 'De Koepel' Foundation for many years, until his death in October 2004. For decades, he devoted himself to informing the public about astronomy and space research. The prize named after him, worth 1500 euro, is awarded every three years to a professional astronomer or space researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to popularizing astronomy and/or space research. Previous recipients are: John Heise (2007), Vincent Icke (2010), Peter Barthel (2013), Joeri van Leeuwen (2016), Sera Markoff (2019).

Award Ceremony
Marc Klein Wolt received the prize on Monday evening, 30 May, during the 77th Dutch Astronomers' Conference. At the same occasion the Pastoor Schmeitsprijs was awarded to Diederik Kruijssen. Kruijssen is awarded the prize, which is intended for young astronomers who are making an exceptional scientific contribution, for his research on star formation.

Dutch Astronomers' Conference
The Dutch Astronomers' Conference is the annual conference of the Royal Netherlands Astronomical Society (KNA). The 77th edition of this conference is organized by the Astronomical Observatory of Ghent University and will take place from May 30 to June 1, 2022 in Blankenberge, near the Flemish coast. More than two hundred astronomers from the Netherlands and Belgium will be present.