Disinformation, media fragmentation, instrumentalisation of science: scientific knowledge occupies a precarious position in the public sphere. On the one hand, it is overshadowed by conspiracy narratives and science scepticism; on the other hand, it is politicised or simplified – often even with the best of intentions. Scientific research, by contrast, is diverse, confusing and uncertain – and yet leads to reliable, robust and relevant knowledge.
Against this background and in times of digital communication, both journalists and scientists face new challenges. It is no longer enough to communicate only disciplinary knowledge and research results. Rather, it is crucial to also expand communication practices in order to adequately convey both the nature and functioning of science and the science system. This requires new ways of communicating science, but also new methods to explore them.
Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, the Rhine Ruhr Center for Science Communication Research (RRC) reorganises science communication research and develops innovative communication formats. To do so, the RRC focuses on findings from the interdisciplinary field of Science Studies as well as the development of new perspectives to communicate the Social Sciences and Humanities. The central aim is to enable both specialist audiences and a broader public to evaluate facts and research results in a reflective manner and to convey a nuanced picture of science.
The RRC combines the expertise of four project partners: the Chair of Science Journalism at TU Dortmund University, the Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (KWI), the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft at the University of Bonn and the Institute for Media Research and Development at Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. In collaboration with its cooperation partners at the Science Media Center Germany (SMC) and the German Science Journalists’ Association (WPK), the RRC is thus able to build an infrastructure for the exchange between science, journalism, politics and other target groups such as science management.