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Successful launch of the Kiel Science Communication Network (KielSCN)

July 15th, 2022

New website and events invite visitors to get acquainted and participate

A good twelve months ago, the Kiel Science Communication Network (KielSCN) received approval from the Volkswagen Foundation: from December 2021 to December 2026, the interdisciplinary network will receive funding of up to 4 million euros as part of the call for proposals "Science Communication to the Power of Three - Centers for Science Communication Research". The goal of the research center at Kiel University (CAU), the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN), and Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MKH) is to develop new approaches to science communication that focus on the visualization of information and its perception. The content focus is on topics from the life sciences and medicine.

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Design Thinking Workshop: In a one-day workshop, students of the Pop-Up Science! seminar worked with Dr. Carolin Enzingmüller from KielSCN on processes of design thinking, an approach to problems that puts people at the center. Photo/Copyright: KielSCN
The KielSCN website (www.kielscn.de) is now open to all interested parties and provides information on the work of the KielSCN as well as upcoming events and participation opportunities. A highlight in the future will be the visualization of the month: in a regular series, the team will present an outstanding visualization that is aesthetically and emotionally appealing from a design perspective. Another criterion for the selection is the information content and the extent to which users are helped to better understand complex interrelationships. In addition to the website, the Kiel Science Communication Network is also active on Twitter (@KielSCN) and Instagram (@kielscn).

 

"The development of a unique corporate identity and a concise visual language is of course of central importance for visual science communication," says Professor Tom Duscher of Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and spokesperson for KielSCN. "This corporate design now also characterizes the new website. Visitors can learn more about us and our research agenda here, but also, for example, about opportunities to get involved in the development of visualizations of scientific content themselves."

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Pop-Up Science: In the Pop-Up Science seminar, master's students at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts developed concepts for communicating the topic of antibiotics and multiresistance in unusual places, such as vacant lots in inner cities, during the summer semester of 2022. Photo/Copyright: KielSCN
In implementing its research agenda, the Kiel Science Communication Network relies on an interdisciplinary team in which subject science, information design, and educational sciences work together. But the users of the visualization products, such as digital posters or infographics, also play an active role at KielSCN. "When developing our visualizations, we focus on processes of a co-design. This means that we systematically involve all the involved parties and stakeholders, as well as the non-specialist public," says Professor Ilka Parchmann from the IPN, who is responsible for implementing the research and cooperation strategy at the KielSCN. "We also use design thinking, an approach to problems that puts people at the focal point."

KielSCN can already present its first results. In a seminar at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts, master's students dealt with the topic of pop-up science in the summer semester of 2022. In small groups, they developed concepts on how the topic of antibiotic resistance can be communicated in an informative and experiential way at unusual locations. Scientists from Kiel's microbiome and evolution research supported and accompanied the students with expert input. The result is four prototypes that visualize the topic in a comprehensible way.

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Technical input: Professor Hinrich Schulenburg, Director of the Evolutionary Ecology and Genetics Group at Kiel University, gave the students an insight into Kiel's research on antibiotic resistance in his introductory lecture.
"It is impressive how differently the students have approached the topic," says Professor Hinrich Schulenburg, director of the Evolutionary Ecology and Genetics working group at Kiel University and responsible in the network for integrating research content from the CAU research area Evolving Health. "The ideas range from creative workshops with students to artistic media installations and viral communication strategies to shop-in-shop ideas with our own products." In addition to the technical aspects on antibiotic resistance, workshops on co-design and design thinking were also incorporated into the jointly conceived seminar.

All concepts will be presented at the annual exhibition Einblick/Ausblick of the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts from July 20 to 23. The KielSCN team will then decide which prototypes can be implemented as science pop-up stores.

About the KielSCN

The Kiel Science Communication Network is one of four consortia in Germany funded over a period of five years in the funding line "Science Communication to the Power of Three - Centers for Science Communication Research" (12/2021 to 12/2026). Scientists involved come from Kiel University (CAU), the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN), and Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MKH). Media partners from the field are Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), the magazine Spektrum der Wissenschaft and the video channel Kurzgesagt. Additional support for the network is provided by Research Fellows and internationally recognized experts in science communication.

For more information, visit: www.kielscn.de

 

Contact:
KielSCN
Heike Groth
Phone: +49 (0)431-880 5696