Press Release 038/2022

Science Communication: Ten Years of NaWik

Ten Years Ago, the Klaus Tschira Foundation and KIT Founded the National Institute for Science Communication to Strengthen the Dialog between Science and Society
For ten years, NaWik has offered seminars on science communication. Here, researchers can learn how to phrase their research in a clear and understandable way. (Photo: Tim Wegner, NaWik)
For ten years, NaWik has offered seminars on science communication. Here, researchers can learn how to phrase their research in a clear and understandable way. (Photo: Tim Wegner, NaWik)

How do I explain complex research to a non-expert audience? How do I even get in contact with people beyond the scientific community? For the last ten years, the National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik) has supported researchers to find ways into practical science communication. On May 11, 2012, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) founded NaWik as a non-profit organization. Based at KIT, it runs a nationwide training program which profits more than 6 000 researchers.

The concept leading to the foundation of NaWik is currently more relevant than ever: Helping scientists to set up functioning dialogs with society. To do so, NaWik offers practical trainings with 33 lecturers in 11 different seminar types – digitally or in person. Researchers can learn how to communicate their methods and results conversationally when speaking, writing, or using social media.

“Ten years after its foundation, NaWik is Germany’s most important training entity in science communication,” says Professor Carsten Könneker, manager of the Klaus Tschira Foundation and founding director of NaWik. “I am proud and very happy to see how the seed we planted with foresight is growing so well.”

“In order to deal with challenges like climate change, the energy transition, or digitalization, a dialog between science and society is essential,” President of KIT Professor Holger Hanselka adds. “For now more than ten years, NaWik has supported researchers very successfully in their continuous exchange with citizens about their ideas, expectations, and concerns on the pressing questions of our time.”

High Quality Standards Achieved with Accompanying Research

NaWik distinguishes itself with the evaluation of its own activities and other organizations in accompanying research, setting high standards for the quality of science communication. It also contributes to the research on German science communication with its own team of researchers. Additionally, NaWik staff members utilize their valuable experience for the creation and editing of the online platform

Two years ago, NaWik started WissKon – a conference for communicating researchers. It is currently being expanded with its own network platform WissKon-Netzwerk to allow an exchange between researchers all year round. This year also marks the start of the courses of the e-learning project funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), further strengthening the science communication in Germany.

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.

ifu-swi, 11.05.2022


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Press Officer
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