In April, we facilitated three public engagement workshops in Paderborn. The interdisciplinary online workshop combined theory and praxis. During the input phase we gave an overview of science communication theory and international trends in scicomm and public engagement. To inspire the participants we showed some best practice examples from European science festivals. Lastly, some tipps and tricks when planning communication formats summed up what to consider in public engagement programs.

During the first interactive part the scientists reflected on benefits and potential risks of a direct communication of science and public: awareness of the relevance of one’s research, valuable insights through the external view on the own topic or new knowledge and skills through working with actors from outside the acamdemia were benefits that the scientists see in direct communication with the public. Potential risks were seen in finding a common language and avoiding misconception.

The second interactive part was about developing concrete science communication formats regarding the research topics of the participants. The scientists became very creative: “Meet balls for physicists”, sociological walks regarding time through the inner city of Paderborn or controversial topics like gender equality in the catholic church were only some of the great ideas generated by the participants.