Science Communication Conference

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences as Scientific Partner of “Science & You” in Nancy, France

Kleve/Kamp-Lintfort, June 1, 2015: Hundreds of international researchers and practitioners in science communication will be discussing the latest trends and new approaches in their field at a conference from Tuesday to Friday, 2-5 June 2015 in Nancy, France. Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, which offers Europe’s only English-language Bachelor degree course in Science Communication, is a scientific partner of the conference, which also marks the starting point for a strategic cooperation with the Université de Lorraine in Nancy.

The four-day conference will be characterised by four main topics: Under the motto “Science and Society”, the conference will discuss the role of citizens in the knowledge-creation process. Among many other speakers, the internationally renowned STS researcher Professor Alan Irwin of the Copenhagen Business School will analyse the differences between “Citizen Science” and “Scientific Citizenship”.

A second major topic will be institutional research communication, such as the question of how science and politics can find a common language and how research can and should influence policy-making.

Internationalisation is the third focus. Professor Brian Wynne of the University of Lancaster will discuss cultural differences in what constitutes science and how science engages with society in different cultural contexts. Other leading experts will contribute further international perspectives, such as Elizabeth Rasekoala from Africa or Cheng Donghong from China.

Another main topic will be new approaches in informal science education: what can didactics tell us about explaining science successfully outside of the classroom? Which role will traditional mass media and journalism play in the future, compared to interactive and social media? Could science and technology museums perhaps become “curators of the future”? How can we utilise the excitement of younger generations for computer games or even magic tricks to better engage them with science?

Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences will contribute to the conference in two panels: “We intend to start a discussion with the community in Nancy about an international exchange platform between scholars and practitioners in science communication, since we have identified a significant lack of mutual understanding and knowledge-transfer between theory and practice,” says Professor Alexander Gerber, Programme Director of Science Communication & Bionics at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. A delegation of students from the programme in Kleve will accompany him to France to produce background interviews with the leading figures of the conference, which will then be available online as videos.

Framing the conference will be a film festival and the finals of the “Three-Minute Thesis” competition.

Online registration for the conference is no longer possible, however those who wish to attend can still register in person in Nancy during the conference.