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Communicating Science – From the Deep Sahara into World Media

For scientists, the primary audience is usually their peers. But science can achieve so much more if it does not stay in a lab. On Tuesday, 27 March 2018, learn about strategies in science communication as well as the profound impact of a long-standing commitment to sharing research results with the public at the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) in New York.

In order to document and transfer new knowledge, it is necessary to communicate science. But how can knowledge production and transformation fascinate a non-expert audience, help form public opinion and shape stakeholder decisions? What are good strategies in science communication and which challenges does it face?

On Tuesday, 27 March, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) in New York (871 United Nations Plaza, First Avenue, between 48th & 49th Streets), learn how Stefan Kröpelin, the “Man of the desert” (Nature) crucially contributed to various sites in the Sahara being recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage List by promoting his research and knowledge. While uncovering secrets such as how humans migrated to Europe, Kröpelin has been popularizing the history, landscapes and people of the Sahara for decades.

Stefan Kröpelin, geologist at the University of Cologne and 17th recipient of the Communicator Award – Science Award of the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany, will talk about how utilizing a variety of media outlets to reach non-for-profit organizations and policy-makers can have a profound impact. He will elaborate on the responsibility scholars and scientists have to society – and tax payers – to show the value of their work. Kröpelin will also introduce science communication as a tool of self-promotion for young academics. Together with Katherine Bagley, the Managing Editor of Yale Environment 360, he will moreover highlight the differences in science communication in Germany and the United States.

The event will be hosted by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH), and the University of Cologne’s New York Office.

The German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) provides information and support for the realization of cooperative and collaborative projects between North America and Germany. With the goal of enhancing communication on the critical challenges of the 21st century, DWIH hosts a wide range of events from lectures and exhibitions to workshops and science dinners. Opened in February 2010, the DWIH was created as a cornerstone of the German government’s initiative to internationalize science and research. It is one of five such centers worldwide.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is the central, self-governing organization funding science and basic research in Germany. Serving all branches of science and the humanities, its members comprise of German research universities, non-university research institutions, scientific associations and the Academies of Science and the Humanities. The chief task of the DFG is to fund the best research projects by scientists and academics at universities and research institutions, which are selected on the basis of a multi-layered peer review process. The DFG is a cornerstone of Germany’s strength as a research nation and it plays a key role in structuring academic research in Europe.

The DFG and the Stifterverband (Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany) have been presenting the Communicator Award to researchers since 2000 in recognition of outstanding achievements in science communication. The award acknowledges a researcher’s commitment to making their work and specialist area accessible to a wider audience and engaging in a dialogue between the research community and the public. It also promotes the idea that science communication should be given a higher status as part of a researcher’s job.

The University of Cologne was founded in 1388. It is one of the leading German research universities, offering an exceptionally diverse subject base. Key Profile Areas conduct internationally competitive research on highly topical scientific, technological and social issues, such as aging-associated diseases, behavioral economic engineering and social cognition, plant science, quantum matter and materials, and socio-economic, cultural and political transformations in the Global South. The University of Cologne is one of the 11 German Universities of Excellence.

Media Enquiries:
Katharina Niesert, German Center for Research and Innovation
+1 212 339 8606 x302

Stefan Altevogt, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) / German Research Foundation
+1 (212) 339-7137

Dr. Eva Bosbach, University of Cologne New York Office
+1 212 758 5893