Two inspiring and compact workshop days with 40 PhD students from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation
Excellent research today is about openness, transparency and participation. Skills in public communication of science are relevant for careers inside and outside academia, and enhance the success rates in the acquisition of funding. Our interactive and hands-on workshop was about benefits, objectives and and the responsibility of public engagement. It presented concrete tipps and tools for the implementation of an individual communication strategy. Additionally, we inspired the participants by showing best practice examples of dialogue oriented science communication formats that can be used to collaborate with citizens as well as other stakeholders.
Engaged discussions on Science Communication and Public Engagement
The training combined theoretical input, discussions and practical excercises. Subjects of discussions were the role of scientists in society, the relevance of scientific research combined with a pressure to legitimate ones research topic or discipline in private as well as academic settings. Moreover a new definition of scientific excellence was part of the vivid debates together with the question whether or not science communication should be an essential part of scientific education.
Idea sprints to develop concrete Public Engagament formats
Within the interactive parts the participants got to know concrete tools of presenting their research topics in an engaging way. They also learned of approaches on how to get in touch with diverse audiences and stakeholders: from collaboration with municipalities to pop-up activities in shopping malls, from city tours on noise pollution to parliamentary debates in cooperation with a LARP community or a simulation game with students – were only some of the ideas the early career researchers developed. They also thought of approaches to develop concrete solutions for cities for example with regard to waste disposal, of new cooperations with theatre professionals regarding the topic of just punishment or with small and medium sizes enterprises with regard to sustainable business solutions.