Future of Science Communication

Strategic foresight and speculative scenario development for science communication and public engagement.

Date: 2022
Research project:: Transferwissenschaft


Wissenschaftskommunikation 2030+ is a study on potential developments for science communication based on societal and academic trends.

The study was done in terms of the  is a joint research project „Transferwissenschaft“ of the TU Berlin and the Center for Responsible Research and Innovation at Fraunhofer IAO. Within the framework of this project, a teaching and research field for „transfer“ is being developed, as well as new mechanisms for strengthening the transfer of knowledge and technology between science, politics, business and society.  For this purpose, the international transfer landscape will be analyzed with regard to actors and measures.

In the sub-research project „Transfer to Society“, I was investigating the gap between science communication practice and research in collaboration with Dr. Konstantin Kiprijanov and Vanessa Luks. The research focuses on Public Engagement of Science and the potentials of design-based methods for practice-oriented science communication. To this end, future scenarios for science communication were discussed and evaluated with experts in two workshops with experts from research and practice.

The workshops aimed to identify forthcoming challenges and novel potentials for science communication from the perspectives of both the research and practical communities. It also sought to raise new research questions and to comprehend the reciprocal relationship between science communication and knowledge transfer, along with the associated requirements and expectations from a policy standpoint. The overarching goal was to gain insights into the question of how science communication can contribute to knowledge transfer.

To achieve this, approaches from strategic foresight ans speculative design were employed, enabling participants to collectively discuss new challenges, potentials, and roles for science communication, with a specific focus on knowledge transfer, based on potential future developments in society, politics, economics, and science.

Both workshop sessions were enriched by stimulating insights gathered through individual interviews with selected experts. The event saw the participation of representatives from institutions and other entities within the realm of science communication research and practice.

*One of the scenarios especially discusses the role of design research for science communication that goes beyon data visualisation.