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Call for Proposals

Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation

Thank you for your proposal!

The Call for Proposals was open from 6 February to 20 March. You will be informed in May if your proposal was selected for the Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation 2023.

Programme Structure

The conference programme will mainly consist of contributions submitted via the call for proposals. We encourage contributions focusing on the main theme of the conference but also welcome proposals dealing with any other aspect of science communication.

The programme committee has decided upon a main theme for the 2023 Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation: "Contentious, but Fair – Towards a New Culture of Debate".

Format Keynotes and Framework Programme Panel discussions Practice Perspectives, Research InsightsInteractive Formats / Workshops
Theme Contentious, but Fair – Towards a New Culture of Debate Thematically open, Proposals on the thematic focus are welcome Thematically open, Proposals on the thematic focus are welcome Thematically open, Proposals on the thematic focus are welcome
Selection process Speakers will be invited by the programme committee Submission through Call for Proposals Submission through Call for Proposals Submission through Call for Proposal

Thematic Focus

"Contentious but Fair – Towards a New Culture of Debate"

Debates, discussions, and discourse form the foundation of any democratic society. They arise from existing differences of opinion and, at best, lead to agreement. Emotions may run high in these discussions, but it’s generally imperative to maintain a degree of objectivity. A good culture of debate is the very basis for any constructive discussion. But what is this culture of debate, what characterises it and how has it changed over the past years? And what are the specific qualities of debates that take place virtually or during protest actions out in the streets?

Democracy Requires Debate

The value of scientific knowledge has been demonstrated in a particularly striking way throughout the global pandemic. However, increased attention also increases vulnerability. How can this be addressed? How can scientific freedom be maintained amidst increasing political tension and the appropriation of scientific knowledge by different actors? What role can and should science and scientists play in public debates?

Objectivity meets Emotions

It's not uncommon for discussions to leave the factual terrain and become deeply emotional. How can such an escalation of debates be prevented? And if boundaries are crossed, how can we react appropriately? How can institutions handle harsh criticism, and what impact do public outrage and instances of supposed "cancel culture" have on the culture of debate, not least at universities? Finally, how political is research, and is there anything such as a neutral position?

The Forgotten Art of Debate

Individuals are the part and parcel of any institution. What happens if they are personally attacked for expressing their opinions? What are the support structures that currently exist for scientists and professional communicators, where are these structures lacking and what should they ideally look like? How can science and science communication learn from these personal experiences? How can we encourage mutual support?

A Matter of Tone

Guidelines, rhetorical skills, non-violent communication, gender sensitive and inclusive language: Successful debates and discussions often require respect for established rules, standards, and frameworks. But what are these rules, and what conditions must be met in a given situation? Can debating be practiced? How does one know when to use a certain tone or formulation? How can insights from different disciplines be applied in practice, and what can scientific exchange of opinions learn from political debates and vice versa?

Debate formats

Debate formats, such as fishbowls, world cafés, or House of Commons debates, form part of science communication. Have these formats been able to prove their worth, and how have they changed? What kind of adjustments may be necessary to make them even more successful? Are there any evaluation results available as a basis for such adjustments? What new, contemporary formats can science and science communication use to engage in a productive dialogue dialogue and successful debates with society?

Open Topics

You are welcome to submit proposals in the following areas:

  • Main theme 2023 "Contentious, but Fair – Towards a New Culture of Debate"
  • Practice (e.g. practical tips, formats, target groups, best/worst cases, etc.
  • Intersections (e.g. art, politics, economy, international, etc.)
  • Reflections (e.g. values and guidelines, quality, evaluation, impact measurement, science of science communication, etc.)
  • Other issues

The following topics are also welcome:

  • Current challenges and trends in science communication
  • Strategic issues, projects and cooperation
  • Innovative formats and localities of science communication
  • Formats and activities that reach new, hitherto seldomly reached target groups
  • Best and worst practices: experiences with successful or failed projects
  • New insights, e.g. evaluations or research projects in science communication
  • Future perspectives and project ideas

We welcome proposals from a global perspective on these topics, which can be submitted and presented in English. We especially encourage proposals from scientists (of all disciplines).


Please submit your proposal for a panel discussion, "Practice Perspective", a "Research Insight" or an interactive format or workshop through the call for proposals in English or German.

Wissenschaft im Dialog values gender equality in both panel compositions and in the teams leading interactive workshops. Mixed-gender proposals are especially encouraged. Please consider the following information regarding the formats.

Please review the information on the available formats before submitting your proposal to ensure it meets the requirements.


  • A 75-minute panel discussion with a maximum of three speakers and one moderator
  • Includes at least 45 minutes of discussion with active involvement of the audience, e.g. through the use of voting tools, interactive surveys or the live use of Twitter
  • Showcases different perspectives, including a scientific perspective, ideally by involving a researcher or artist
  • Panel members from diverse backgrounds and institutions, each with a unique view on the topic
  • Each panel member has a maximum of 10 minutes for an opening talk
  • The Moderator cannot simultaneously be a panel member
  • Moderator should conduct intensive preparations together with the speakers to clearly define the topics and questions of discussion.


  • 7-minutes presentation of a successful or failed project with or a new project idea by one speaker (max.)
  • Further information is presented on a poster as part of a poster-exhibition
  • Opportunity for questions and further discussion at the poster exhibition
  • Provides an overview of new formats and projects in science communication and the opportunity to exchange ideas


  • Short presentation of maximum 12 minutes of specific study results or evaluations of science communication presented by one speaker (max.) 
  • Further information about the study or evaluation provided on a poster as part of a poster exhibition 
  • Opportunity for further questions and discussions at the poster exhibition 
  • Provides insights into current research in science communication and presents results of studies or evaluations of science communication


  • 90-minute interactive workshop moderated by a maximum of four moderators or speakers
  • Diverse formats such as workshop, world café, debate, fishbowl
  • Participants should work in-depth on an issue and generate potential solutions with a focus on practical relevance
  • Please indicate the methods and aims of the workshop 
  • Suitable for at least 40 participants
  • If there is sufficient interest you may be asked to run the workshop twice during the conference 

Conditions of participation

Submission of proposals

Proposals for Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation 2023 must be submitted through the online form. An automatic email will be sent to the email address provided on the form, confirming successful transfer of data and summarising the information. If the email fails to arrive, please contact forum@w-i-d.de.

Selection of proposals

All submitted proposals will be evaluated by the programme committee, and the selected contributions will be included in the conference programme. If your proposal is chosen, Wissenschaft im Dialog will notify you of the date and time of your session.

Deadline for submissions: 20 March 2023
Notification of selections: May 2023
Date of conference: 15–17 November 2023
Place of conference: Bielefeld

Conference fees and registration
Speakers and moderators are eligible for reduced conference fees (covering participation and catering) for the duration of the conference (€120/1 day, €175/2 days, €195/3 days).

We will send you a link that enables reduced registration. Registration must be completed using this link and the online form before the close of registrations. It is not possible to register for the conference after the closing of registrations or at the event.

Travel and accommodation costs
Speakers and moderators pay for their own travel and accommodation – these expenses will not be reimbursed by the organisers, Wissenschaft im Dialog.

Technical equipment and materials
We can provide equipment for your contribution including a laptop, projector, flip chart or pinboard. Please bring any further material you need for your contribution such as cards, pens, paper etc.

Privacy and personal data processing
a. Scope of personal data processing
When proposals are submitted to the Call for Proposals for Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation, personal data is recorded and processed by Wissenschaft im Dialog gGmbH. The data is solely processed for the purpose of organising and running the event in accordance with legal requirements and deleted when this purpose is fulfilled. The personal data that is processed and saved, is the same data entered into the online forms for the call for proposals and for conference registration. During the selection of proposals for the programme, names and institutions, as well as the title and description of the session and the submitted links, are shared with the programme committee. The legal basis for the processing of personal data is obtaining permission from the user; as stated in Article 6, Paragraphs 1a and b, GDPR.

b. Purpose of personal data processing
The processing of personal data using the online form is for the sole purpose of managing the submitted proposal and the conference programme. In the case that contact occurs by email rather than via the form, the communication implies permission to process the data. Further information may be collected during the submission of proposals or registration for the purpose of ensuring the safety of IT-systems and preventing misuse of the form.

c. Duration of data storageCall for Proposals
The data will be deleted as soon as it has fulfilled the purpose for which it was collected. In this case that includes the procedures required to execute the conference and prepare the conference documentation. If the user wishes to continue to receive regular information about future conferences, their permission is required.

d. Options for refusal and deletion
Any user can revoke their permission for their personal data to be processed at any time. If permission is revoked, it is not possible to participate in the call for proposals.


Hella Grenzebach
Project lead

Tel.: +49 30 2062295-45

Christopher Gripp
Project management

Tel.: +49 30 2062295-22 

Wissenschaft im Dialog gGmbH
Charlottenstraße 80
10117 Berlin