ScienceComm’15 – a sneak peek

ScienceComm’15 was organized by Science et Cite at Landhaus in the beautiful city of Solothurn. The swissnex network was represented by the communication managers from five locations across the globe – San Francisco, Boston, India, China and Brazil.

The two-day event held on the 24 and 25 of September 2015 gathered together science communicators from various institutions in Switzerland and beyond.

The focus, this year, was on Crisis of Science and Open Science / Citizen Science. Several talks and workshops were organized based on the above themes

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Prof. Dr. Martin Vetterli, President of SNSF spoke about the transition from Open Access to Open Science – how the digital revolution brought new ways of solving and spreading scientific knowledge built on collaborative and open technologies – how this represents great opportunities as well as big challenges for the scientific community and for funding organizations like the Swiss National Science Foundation.

The talk by Prof. Bruno Strasser (University of Geneva, Yale University) – The Rise of the Citizen Sciences : Rethinking Public Participation in Science – was greatly appreciated for comparing and contrasting current forms with well-studied examples from the past highlighting the historical significance of the current citizen science movement. “Citizen Science invites us to rethink the relationship between scientists and lay people”, said Prof. Strasser.

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Through the example of the project – Data Canvas: Sense Your City and the Data Art Challenge – Benjamin Bollman from swissnex SF shared the learnings and insights for science communication from a non-traditional, interdisciplinary, citizen science perspective—specifically, how humanizing data and gamifying data collection can amplify research efforts.

 

My personal favorite talk was by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Felt, Universität Wien – Communicating out of crisis? Caring for science and society relations in turbulent times – an interesting view on some elements of current debates on ‘the crisis of science’ and question whether the notion of crisis captures the challenges we are confronted with as well as reflect on what role diverse forms of communication and engagement play in all this.

Apart from various projects showcased at ScienceComm, the Science Beergarten organized on day 1 showcased a citizen science project that sequence the DNA inside 1,000 beers from the world, and build a beer cartography. It was an exciting experience to discover the beer biodiversity!

 

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Sciencecomm’15 served as a great platform to connect several Swiss institutions with each other. swissnex as a network was in the spotlight with participants trying out the City Cells app, networking with our representatives and exploring newer possibilities to collaborate. More pictures from ScienceComm’15>>

– Anju Edgar
Head of Communications, swissnex India