KIT for All

Dialog with Society

At KIT, we do not only train outstanding students, we also attach high priority to exchange and interaction with the society. For this reason, we want our research to meet highest demands in terms of transparency and offer a number of participative dialog formats. Our numerous information and training services address people in later phases of their careers and lives, children and adolescents, and all citizens interested in our research. We make available scientific expertise for the democratic process. We identify needs and problems when using new technologies and train tomorrow’s science communicators.

Offers for Children, Adolescents, and Professionals

Girls and boys can experience a touch of university life at the Children’s University. Pupils are free to join a traineeship during holidays or to invite a studies ambassador to come to their lessons. Pupils of classes 3 - 12 are offered pupils’ laboratories as part of school lessons. Highly talented children may join studies for pupils at KIT, within the framework of which they can attend regular lectures and exercises. On the Girls’ Day, KIT fosters the girls’ interest in STEM subjects.

At the Center for Advanced Technological and Environmental Training, practitioners may join courses on occupational safety, environmental or health protection, or project management to learn to cope with new challenges of their professions or they can attend studies parallel to their jobs. People are also free to attend regular courses as guest students or public online lectures on future trends, such as bioeconomy or renewable resources.

Events for Citizens

KIT also offers a number of public or participative science events and citizens’ forums for dialog with science. Pioneer work in this area is accomplished by KIT’s Center for Cultural and General Studies (ZAK), an institution that considers public science part of its identity and organizes numerous events, film shows, and presentation series. KIT at the City Hall, for example, is an event focusing on a scientific topic. It is organized in cooperation with the city of Karlsruhe and the KIT Centers.

The eight KIT Centers pool the central interdisciplinary research activities of KIT and also foster direct dialog with society. The Climate and Environment Lectures, for instance, are organized by the KIT Climate and Environment Center. Here, leading climate and environmental scientists inform about latest facts and research trends. Other KIT Centers, such as the KIT Energy Center, the KIT Information, Systems, Technologies Center, or the KIT Mobility Systems Center also organize public events, presentations, and exchange activities.

A new measure to foster interaction between science and society is the KIT Science Week. This concept was developed in the successful proposal for the University of Excellence and combines a high-ranking international scientific conference with events for the public on technological mega trends, such as artificial intelligence (AI).

At regular intervals, KIT organizes open days to present research facilities, laboratories, and test facilities to the public. Diverse programs offer science to join in, including activities for the young generation. Citizens can also experience fascinating science when joining guided tours of laboratories, large-scale experiments, and other scientific institutions. For many years now, the Young Talents event has been organized. It combines a scientific presentation with a concert and takes place in cooperation with Karlsruhe University of Music.

Offers for Society

The Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) studies systemic relationships and impacts of scientific and technical developments and is one of the leading technology assessment institutions worldwide. Scientists working at the Office of Technology Assessment with the German Bundestag (TAB) support members of parliament making important decisions and develop action options to enhance the resilience of the basic democratic order and to meet the challenges of our times.

Important places of interaction between science and society are the real-world labs initiated by ITAS and partners. Together with citizens and other stakeholders in society, we develop, study, and test in a cooperative and participative way ideas and solutions for problems of vital importance in the areas of climate, energy, urban development, mobility, employment, or social peace. Examples are the Baden-Württemberg Test Area for Autonomous Driving, a real-world lab supporting the development of viable solutions for individual traffic and public passenger transit, and the Karlsruhe Transformation Center for Sustainability and Cultural Change (KAT)  that tests integrative sustainability solutions in transdisciplinary experiments carried out in cooperation with science and society.

Good science communication is in the focus of the National Institute for Science Communication NaWik. Here, tested education and training courses on communication with society are offered to scientists. The Science Communication Department of the Institute for Technology Futures organizes science communication training for students parallel to their scientific studies.

Offers for Senior Citizens

Persons of advanced age may also join lectures on latest technological progress as guest students. Laboratory visits as well as virtual and on-campus events are open to all citizens in principle. Dates of events at KIT can be found in our calendar of events.