Science Communication in a Changing Media Environment: Chances and Challenges

Session introduction

Communication and dialogue between science and society are important for both sides. But the science communication ecosystem is changing, with (science) journalism

eroding, institutional communication becoming more important, and online and social media disrupting

communication. What are the chances and challenges for science communication in this process?

Session in‐depth

Communication and dialogue between science and society are important for both sides. Science informs individual

and collective decisions, while social context and social needs guide the direction of scientific enquiry. But the science

communication ecosystem is changing: Science is growing, and fields like genome editing, artificial intelligence or

climate science are turning into “post‐normal science”, fields with rapid development that initiate public debates and

raise ethical issues. At the same time, the communicators of science are changing, with science journalism in decline,

strategic communication expanding and digital media empowering users to engage in science communication as well.

As a result, public perceptions of science have shifted, with trust in science seemingly eroding, “alternative facts”

gaining in importance, and populist movements finding traction.

In the session, these developments will be tracked and chances and challenges will be discussed with participants.