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How iodine got into salt: the 2023 Prix Média is awarded to Jonah Goodman

Bern, 3 November 2023


They solved a major problem in our country – and yet they were probably unknown to most people until now: 100 years ago, three country doctors delivered Switzerland from goitre by adding iodine to table salt. Journalist Jonah Goodman delved into the archives to bring this unknown chapter of Swiss history to light and wins this year’s Prix Média for his reportage in “Das Magazin”. It is endowed with CHF 10,000.

“Jonah Goodman has shown in an exciting story that it takes not only scientific insights, but also people who make these insights marketable”. This is the jury’s evaluation of the article “Wie drei Landärzte die Schweiz vom Kropf erlösten” (“How three country doctors delivered Switzerland from goitre”), which was published on 17 September 2022 in “Das Magazin”. In the article, Prix Média winner Jonah Goodman tells the story of three country doctors who battled goitre in the early 1920s by means of an iodine supplement and in the process had to overcome a lot of scepticism and prejudice. The jury was particularly impressed by the extensive research work done in historical archives and by the scientific meticulousness with which the journalist had pursued this research. The jury thought the award-winning article was also highly topical, because parallels are recognizable with the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. The jury was very pleased that this article shines a spotlight on a medical-history topic, as science journalism research often focuses on natural-science topics.


The article was originally written in English and translated into German for the initial publication in “Das Magazin”. “It’s a piece of Swiss history”, explains Jonah Goodman. “That’s why it was very important to me that the article be published in Switzerland first.”


A newcomer project was also awarded this year with Denise Brechbühl’s research on cybersecurity.


This year’s awards ceremony will take place at the ScienceComm’23 event on 3 November at 3 p.m. in the Progr Culture Centre, Bern. In a workshop discussion, Jonah Goodman and Severin Bruttin, a fact-checker at “Das Magazin”, will provide insights into the making of the award-winning story.


The Prix Média is endowed with CHF 10,000 and stands for excellence in science journalism. It recognizes the important role of journalists at the interface between science and society.

For further information, please contact

Astrid Tomczak-Plewka

+41 (0)31 306 92 39

Astrid Tomczak-Plewka

Contact person Prix Média


Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

House of Academies

Laupenstrasse 7

P.O. Box

CH-3001 Bern