24 June 2021

Future of Science Communication Conference 2021

Insights into the contributions of the Impact Unit

The Future of Science Communication Conference brings together European actors from research and practice of the field with the aim of furthering transfer activities and promoting evidence-based science communication. The Impact Unit contributed to the programme with a workshop on research and practice collaborations for better evaluation, a poster on our recent analysis concerning the opinions of researchers on science communication, a presentation of a systematic literature review of target groups and formats of science communication as well as a lightning talk on the goals of science communication projects.

During the workshop “Finding Common Ground: Research-Practice-Collaborations for Better Evaluation”, we discussed with participants from universities, research institutions, funding organisations, to name a few, previous experiences in such collaborations between research and practice. After gathering similarities, differences and detecting overarching chances and challenges, we spent the rest of the session discussing necessary preconditions for constructive collaboration projects.
What became obvious during this exchange: While funding opportunities and institutional structures are pivotal, there are several factors on an interpersonal, procedural and structural level that enable a productive collaboration process: May it be the mere recognition of varying understandings of terms and language barriers or the transparent agreement on everyone’s roles and responsibilities up front. Our team at the Impact Unit is looking forward to building on these impulses in future events and products.

In the lightning talk session the Impact Unit presented the results of two analyses that were conducted in 2020. Ricarda Ziegler presented the typology of science communication goals developed by the Impact Unit and provided insights into a qualitative content analysis focusing on strategic science communication goals in Germany. In another talk, Fenja de Silva-Schmidt, a research associate from the University Hamburg who cooperated with the Impact Unit on a research study gathering evidence-based knowledge on the effect of science communication, highlighted the studies recent results.  

The Impact Unit also had the opportunity to present the results of the recently conducted science communication survey during the poster session of the conference. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik) and the Center for Science and Higher Education Research (DZHW). Philipp Niemann of the NaWik joined Liliann Fischer of the Impact Unit for the discussions in the poster session.