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Source: Volkswagen Stiftung20. Feb 20The Volkswagen Foundation initiated the establishment of “centres for science communication research” and provides up to 4 million Euro in funding. The deadline for project applications: 04. September 2020

Science communication faces enormous challenges. Topics such as artificial intelligence, climate change and health issues are widely and controversially discussed in public. But who, apart from the technical experts, has the necessary fact-based knowledge to be able to form a well-founded opinion? The result: uncertainty about the truthfulness of arguments and the associated skepticism about science is growing in parts of the population. To counteract the impending loss of trust, science is therefore called upon to explain its goals, processes and findings to a broader audience even more effectively than before. A responsibility that researchers should not only hand over to the in-house communication departments and which cannot be achieved without the involvement of social intermediaries (journalism, politics, business, NGOs etc.) Volkswagen Foundation enable experiment rooms for collaborative projects. Here, communication researchers with at least one other specialist discipline and with the close participation of non-university actors should advance the research and practice of science communication in a social context. The participation of foreign partners is also possible. Georg Schütte, General Secretary of the Volkswagen Foundation: “The breathtaking social and technological change, the new opportunities for discourse and influence on the Internet – there are many questions to which science communication has to find new answers. This task can only be mastered in close cooperation: from science and society, from research and practice. The centers that the Volkswagen Foundation is now launching will hopefully be many things: think tanks, workshops, laboratories, but also incubators with international appeal for young people in the field of science communication research. ” Funded euros. Supraregional consortia within Germany are possible, but the center must be institutionally located at a research facility. The foundation is looking forward to a long-term existence of the centers, which it may support with follow-up funding over three years and with additional funding of up to EUR 2 million. On May 12, 2020, an information and network event for potential applicants will take place in Berlin , Link to further information on the event.Link to further information on the call “Science communication to the power of three – Centers for Science Communication Research”.


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