•    New platform shows how to arouse people’s interest in science
•    Recognition of the most innovative project at the Falling Walls Conference

 
Stuttgart, November 7, 2018. With their joint new format, Falling Walls Engage, the Falling Walls Foundation and the Robert Bosch Stiftung have launched an international platform for exchange on successful science communication projects. On Thursday November 8, the cooperation partners award the inaugural title of “Science Engagement of the Year 2018” at the Falling Walls Conference. An interdisciplinary jury consisting of renowned researchers, museum directors, and journalists choose the project with the most innovative science communication approach from among 20 international competitors.

The new platform, Falling Walls Engage, aims to break down the wall between science and the public, raise awareness of successful science engagement projects, and encourage others to follow these best practice examples. Falling Walls Engage wants to arouse people’s interest in science, primarily reaching those who have previously had little exposure to it. “The international projects presented here demonstrate impressive approaches for the potential future design of the dialog between science and society,” comments Jürgen Mlynek, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Falling Walls Foundation.

“Science has a social responsibility to make sure that people who have little or no exposure to science do not turn their backs on a rational, fact-based world view,” states Uta-Micaela Dürig, Vice Chair of the Board of Management of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, “because fact-based arguments are the foundation of a public, democratic discourse.”

The new initiative is rooted in the conviction that science communication involves more than the publication of findings or marketing activities for one’s own institution. “In an increasingly complex world, scientific facts can provide orientation and give people more opportunities to participate in and shape society,” Ms. Dürig adds. But to make this happen, science communication will need a rethink.

The Falling Walls Conference is an annual global gathering of leading scientists from all around the world. Each year, these forward-thinking individuals meet in Berlin on November 9, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, to present their current breakthrough research, in keeping with their motto  “Which are the next walls to fall?” The conference opens on November 8 with four preliminary events: Falling Walls Lab (100 junior researchers, participants determined via 80 regional competitions run worldwide); Falling Walls Venture (science-focused startups); Falling Walls Circle (research strategies); and as a first, Falling Walls Engage (science communication). For further information please see: www.falling-walls.com. The Falling Walls Conference is part of the Berlin Science Week with over 100 events, which runs from November 1 – 10 and is supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

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