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Wissenschaft im Dialog - An initiative of Germany’s scientific community

The organisation for science communication

Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) is the German organisation for science communication of the scientific community. WiD supports science and research with expertise in effective communication with society and encourages researchers to communicate their research, including its controversial aspects, with the public. Moreover, WiD raises citizens’ awareness for the social significance of science and promotes understanding research processes and findings. For that reason, WiD organizes various participatory formats, e.g. discussions, school projects, exhibitions, and competitions across Germany and provides online portals about science and science communication.

Initiated by the Stifterverband, Wissenschaft im Dialog was founded in 2000 by the leading German science organisations. Further science-related foundations joined as partners. WiD is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Ever since, WiD has constantly extended its activities. Initially, the focus was directed towards broad public communication. Today, the dialogue for controversial topics, the development of new formats and building a network for stakeholders in the sector, have become further priorities. Most recently, the quality, evaluation and impact of science communication are moving more into focus. Consequently, WiD addresses the following audiences:

The general public:

They have the opportunity to acquire new knowledge regarding science and its impact on a democratic society, form individual opinions and discuss them with scientists and politicians.  Furthermore, interaction with scientists improves the understanding of how they work and how they make new discoveries. 

Projects for the general public

Researchers:

They are encouraged to get in touch with different groups of society to not only discuss their work and its social relevance, but also methods and processes. Apart from supporting researchers in strategically expanding their communication skills and activities, WiD also advocates science communication as an important part of scientific work.

Projects for researchers

Communicators:

They are provided with a platform for networking and exchange of experiences. WiD offers formats for advanced training in science communication and supports communicators in developing programmes and in evaluating them with an impact-oriented focus. As the German organisation for science communication, WiD is a central contact and trend scout for topics, methods, quality and exchange in the field of science communication - beyond national boundaries.

Projects for communicators

 

The strategy paper "Debatten anstoßen, Erkenntnisprozesse kommunizieren und neue Zielgruppen ansprechen" ("Initiating debates, communicating processes of research and reaching new target groups") sums up the central goals of Wissenschaft im Dialog. Together with the associates of Wissenschaft im Dialog, they were developed in 2017.