drupa prizes awarded to Dr René Baston and Nina Goldt

The prizes 2020 and 2021 are awarded for outstanding dissertations

drupa prizes awarded to Dr René Baston and Nina Goldt
Nina Goldt (Left) and Dr René Baston

This year’s presentation of the drupa prize gave double reason to rejoice: art historian Nina Goldt was recognized for her dissertation “Portrait à la mode. Das weibliche Figurenbild der École de Paris im Spiegel seiner Entstehungszeit” (The Female Figure Image of the École de Paris in the Mirror of its Period of Origin”) with the drupa prize 2021. At the same time, philosopher Dr René Baston received the drupa Prize 2020 for his dissertation “Implizite Vorurteile – eine philosophische Betrachtung” (Implicit Prejudices – a Philosophical Consideration”.

The presentation had to be postponed due to the pandemic but could now go ahead. The award that comes with prize money of EUR 6,000 was presented by Wolfram N. Diener (President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf) and Prof Dr Anja Steinbeck (President of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf) at a formal ceremony on 17 August 2021 in the Orangery of the Botanical Garden of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

“The drupa prize is an award and recognition for top performance in the humanities. Both dissertations were graded summa cum laude, and I congratulate Nina Goldt and Dr René Baston most sincerely – it doesn’t get any better than that!” explained Wolfram N. Diener at the award ceremony. “Messe Düsseldorf has been supporting young scientists from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities with the drupa prize for over 40 years. This is a nice tradition that we want to continue in the future.”

In her dissertation, Nina Goldt deals with the female figure image in the first third of the 20th century in Paris as the artistic center of modern times. The Faculty Council of the Faculty of Humanities at Heinrich Heine University justifies her nomination for the drupa prize, saying that Goldt manages to present the changes in modernity as a visible indicator of the altered position of women in society in a highly vivid manner. Her work makes a substantial contribution to the gender discourse in modernity and provides new genre-specific insights into portrait research.

Dr René Baston’s dissertation provides a fascinating overview of the debate on implicit prejudice. He shows that discriminatory behavior often happens unconsciously and makes this point with impressive examples. For instance, while the US has seen a significant decline in explicit racist beliefs, people of color continue to be discriminated against in some areas. This implicit racism is explained in social psychology by implicit prejudice. Dr Baston’s work brings together findings from social psychology and philosophy. His convincing results have already found their way into the scientific discourse through publications in journals. 

Detailing of drupa prize winners

Nina Goldt was born in Walsrode in 1986. After graduating from high school, she studied art history and Romance languages at the Faculty of Philosophy of Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. In 2012, she completed her studies with a Master of Arts in Art History. From 2013 to 2019, she devoted herself to her doctoral project “Portrait à la mode. Das weibliche Figurbild der École de Paris im Spiegel seiner Entstehungszeit” at the Institute of Art History at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Her dissertation was assessed summa cum laude. Since 2014, she has been a freelance technical translator (French and English) and editor for Dumont Buchverlag, Edition Michael Fischer, and Arnoldsche Art Publishers. Nina Goldt lives in Düsseldorf, is married, and has a daughter.

Dr René Baston was born in Kamp-Lintfort in 1984 and initially studied computer science at the University of the Lower Rhine (degree: Bachelor of Science). In 2009, he took up his studies in philosophy at Heinrich Heine University, which he completed in 2014 with a Master of Arts in philosophy. His dissertation “Implicit Prejudices – A Philosophical Consideration” was assessed summa cum laude. Dr René Baston lives in Düsseldorf.  

Since 1978, Messe Düsseldorf has been awarded the drupa Prize, which comes with Euro 6,000 prize money, for an outstanding thesis written at the Faculty of Philosophy of Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. The prize money is used for the publication and dissemination of the award-winning work in the humanities. The drupa Prize is awarded by a panel of experts comprising the Rectorate and Vice Rectorate of Heinrich Heine University (HHU) Düsseldorf, the Chairman of the drupa Committee and the CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.


The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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