18 June 2024

Today, two children’s books, which the LEO Foundation has supported, are being published. The books are part of the illustrated children’s book series Danske stjerner (Danish stars), which introduces children to a wide range of Danish scientists, innovations and natural science phenomena.

As part of the ‘Education and Awareness Grants’ program, the LEO Foundation has supported the production and publication of a total of four books, the first two of which are being published today. The stories begin when the scientists are children and follow their path towards their scientific achievements.

“We are proud to make these children’s books possible. We hope that they can spark children’s curiosity about the world around them, help them learn more about natural science phenomena and show the many different starting points and ways into research that exist,” says Anne-Marie Engel, Chief Scientific Officer at the LEO Foundation.

“A part of the LEO Foundation’s philanthropic activities support projects, that spur the interest and strengthen the capabilities of children and young people within the STEM fields. We hope that the books can help support this, and perhaps jumpstart the curiosity that all research is based on. There are many funny, surprising, and quirky stories behind some of the most ground-breaking discoveries made by Danish women and men,” says Anne-Marie Engel.

Unfolds the stories of invisible phenomena

The books Niels Finsen – den lysende læge og Fatima AlZahra’a Alaktraktchi og hviskende bakterier that are out today both revolve around bacteria but through two very different examples.

The book about Niels Finsen tells the story of the boy who, as an adult, received the Nobel Prize in 1903 for his innovation of light treatment against skin tuberculosis. It unfolds how Niels Finsen began to wonder about the effect of sunlight on people – especially on their skin. The second book tells the story of Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi, who becomes a researcher at Roskilde University, an entrepreneur and internationally recognized for her innovation of a new method for the detection of bacteria. Both books contain factual text and illustrations that explain the science behind each story.

The target group is children aged 4 to 8, and the series so far consists of eight books featuring, among others, physicists Niels Bohr, seismologist Inge Lehmann and astronaut Andreas Mogensen. In the autumn, the last two books, supported by the LEO Foundation, will be published. One will be about Morten Peter Meldal, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2022 for his contribution to the development of click chemistry, and the other about nurse Elise Sørensen, who invented the colostomy bag, which is used globally today.

The books are in Danish, written by Jakob Lund Pedersen, illustrated by Julie Østergaard and published by Børnebogsforlaget.