The Trophy

The Einstein Foundation Award trophy is made of chalk. It was created by Axel Kufus, Professor of Design at the Institute for Product and Process Design at the Berlin University of the Arts. The trophy's concept is based on the idea of honoring a basic tool that has been used to bring knowledge into the world for as long as we can remember.  

“A scientist will never believe that the results of his efforts are definitive.” Albert Einstein, 1945

Extract of a letter to J. Lee, September 10th 1945; Einstein archive 57-601, German original: “Ein Wissenschaftler wird nie verstehen, warum er allein deshalb an etwas glauben sollte, weil es in einem bestimmten Buch steht. (...) Er wird niemals glauben, daß die Ergebnisse seiner eigenen Bemühungen endgültig sind.” Found in: A. Calaprice: Einstein sagt, Munich (1997)

Chalk is a hybrid thing: solid and durable, soft and ephemeral. It brings thoughts, ideas, explanations and evidence to life—yet it can be easily erased to make room for something new. Writing or drawing with chalk gives you freedom to err, to add corrections, and reconsider your ideas.

Thus, chalk resembles quality: It symbolizes the importance of questioning something again and again if we want our knowledge of the world to grow. This masterpiece made of chalk invites the awardees of the Einstein Foundation Award for Promoting Quality in Research to share their next discoveries with the world.