»The medium and the message: communicating science in the age of social media«

Initially, the internet allowed for breaking with long-standing and hardly questioned knowledge hierarchies, bringing formerly exclusive information to the people. This ideal is still present in the current discussion about Open Science and new, digitalized forms of science communication.

Yet, with the increasing diffusion of digital communication, the flipside of flat information hierarchies becomes apparent: be it the circulation of fake news to selective knowledge reception (i. e. filter bubbles), the tendentious opinions disguised as facts or single studies going viral as authenticated truths. The social responsibility of academia as central agent of knowledge production and its function as legitimizing force in political and societal decision making is being challenged. This touches upon following issues:

Digital revolution and interpretative power: How does knowledge construction work in and with social media? What do we derive from media transformations of the past? What differentiates the current one from those?

Knowledge and information: Why, when and particularly how can research results be conveyed to a broader public?

Medium and message: How can academia assert its role as objective, fact-based interpreter of the world in a cacophony of personal opinions and subjective reactions to the world? What are the useful strategies to get messages across?

Welcome: Matthias Kleiner, President of the Leibniz Association

Panel discussion: Benedikt Fecher (Head of Research Programme: Knowledge & Society at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society), Julia Offe (Science communicator and owner of scienceslam.de), Ricarda Ziegler (Strategy Officer, Project Lead science barometer, Nucleus, Wissenschaft im Dialog)

Moderator: Alexander Thamm (e.g. ARD alpha)

Photos: David Ausserhofer

Download: Flyer (PDF)