Press Release 035/2021

Science Communication: NaWik Develops E-learning Courses

Strengthening Competencies at Universities: Federal Research Ministry Funds E-learning for Researchers Communicating with the Media and Public
2021_035_Wissenschaftskommunikation NaWik entwickelt E Learning Angebot_72dpi
Since 2012, NaWik has offered seminars on science communication. (Photo: NaWik)

In the next three years, the National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik) in Karlsruhe will develop and establish modular e-learning courses for science communication. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The decision to grant funding in the amount of about EUR 1.4 million was made within #FactoryWissKomm, a think tank to strengthen science communication initiated by BMBF. Since its establishment by the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in 2012, NaWik has offered a wide portfolio of science communication seminars.

Since September 2020, about 150 experts of #FactoryWissKomm have organized in six working groups to develop actions to strengthen science communication in Germany. “The Covid-19 pandemic shows how important and challenging good science communication is,” says Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek. It is not only about conducting excellent research, she says. During a pandemic, society very much depends on the progress and success of science. “With the new online courses of the renowned National Institute for Science Communication, we want to support our scientists in communicating their research to the public. This will close an important gap in the training of researchers,” Karliczek says.

“In about a year’s time, we will offer first learning modules on basic knowledge of science communication,” says Beatrice Lugger, Managing Director of NaWik. In the course of the project, e-learning services will be extended and the portfolio will be complemented by specific modules on communication situations and media types. The e-learning courses will address researchers and students, who wish to develop and strengthen their competencies in communicating science to non-experts and media.

“Science needs strong communication. No matter whether we talk about sustainable mobility, artificial intelligence, future energy supply, or climate change, KIT considers transfer to society and dialog with citizens to be essential,” says the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka. “To support researchers in this area, we established NaWik together with the Klaus Tschira Foundation about ten years ago. I am very happy that NaWik will now be able to extend its e-learning courses on science communication with the funds granted by the BMBF.”

Since its establishment by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2012, NaWik has offered a wide portfolio of seminars for science communication throughout Germany. “Demand is very high and it is growing constantly. It can no longer be met by in-person and virtual seminars,” Lugger adds. The e-learning courses to be developed will solve the problem. The modules can be passed irrespective of the time and location. Hence, they can be integrated well in research activities and studies.

When conceiving the courses, NaWik will rely on its on expertise in e-learning. Contents from in-person seminars will serve as a basis for the e-modules. In addition, the requirements made by the community, including the experts of #FactoryWissKomm, will be considered. It is planned to constantly update the e-learning courses with respect to latest knowledge from science communication research and latest findings relating to new media and the associated communication options. In addition, the learning modules will be verified using empirical research methods and optimized, if necessary.

About the National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik)

The National Institute for Science Communication, a non-profit limited-liability company, was established by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2012. The institute conveys to researchers and students the fundamentals of understandable and good science communication to non-specialists. NaWik currently offers twelve types of seminars that are based on a standard didactic concept and range from basic or presentation seminars to media seminars. The seminars are offered in-person or virtually. A separate research group of NaWik empirically studies practically relevant aspects of science communication. NaWik co-edits NaWik is based in Karlsruhe and offers seminars throughout Germany. (BL-MLE)

Contacts for This Press Release

Sandra Helber, National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik), phone: +49 721 608‬41718, email: helber does-not-exist.nawik de

Renate Ries, Head of Communiction, Klaus Tschira Foundation, phone: +49 6221 533-102, email: renate ries does-not-exist.klaus-tschira-stiftung de


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

bl - mle, 20.04.2021


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