Why do we support this project?
The efforts of science communication of the last 20 years, such as polished magazines and science slams have only reached a small part of society. People who are rarely or not at all in touch with science have largely been left out. At the same time we can observe a loss of trust in science among society: Polls show that a significant majority of people question the independence of researchers from funders. 42 percent say that our living conditions change too quickly. This poses a strong impetus on the science community to foster its responsibility to strive for the common good. The more people are turning away from rational, evidence-based values the more at risk is the foundation of democracy. Hence, there is need for a different approach to science communication that offers more than the mere presentation of research results and to market its own institution. Science and fact-based argumentations play a fundamental role in our society. Insights into the scientific system, its underlying rules and values translates into added scientific literacy and opportunities to participate in the democratic process and society at large. It is important for us to convey scientific findings to all parts of society, specifically with a special focus on people who have no or little contact with science.
What are our goals?
Falling Walls Engage is an international platform for all forms of science engagement, hosted by Falling Walls Foundation in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Its goal is to showcase successful innovative science engagement projects from a wide range of fields. From public science to pub science, from kindergarten education to VR experiences, and from citizen science to journalism, Falling Walls Engage connects those who tear down the walls between science and the public. It is expected that highlighting successful engagement projects and learning from other engagement projects will change perception in science communication and the science community as a whole. The program seeks to spread scientific literacy, with a special focus on “hard-to-reach” target groups in order to increase their ability to participate in society.
How does the project work?
Falling Walls Engage asks organisations and individuals active in science engagement to submit their successful projects or initiatives. The international call is open to all forms of science engagement, with a particular focus on impactful, cost-effective and novel approaches to building opportunities for dialogue and participation. The best submissions will be invited to share their science engagement projects on 8 November in a fast-paced pitch competition in front of a peer audience and a distinguished jury. Presenting the “Falling Walls Science Engagement of the Year”, the winner will get the chance to pitch their project on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference to an audience of 750 global leaders, decision-makers, and international media representatives. All participating projects will be digitally documented and presented on an interactive learning website to inspire both professionals and the general public to inspire others. Following the presentation pitches, co-learning workshops will create an opportunity for further discussion, exchange of expertise and cooperation.
Who are we trying to reach?
- Organisations and people active in science engagement
- Organisations and decision makers for science engagement in science, society, politics, media and economy
- The public, through participation in science engagement projects
Where is the project located?
The jury event is held in Berlin (Germany) on November 8, however, all engagement projects from around the globe are welcome to apply and inspire others.
Who runs the project?
- Founding Partners: Robert Bosch Stiftung, Falling Walls Foundation
- Network Partners: Berliner Naturkundemuseum, EUSEA, ScientificAmerican, Wissenschaft im Dialog