As part of Leopoldina, MPIWG director Jürgen Renn and Visiting Scholar Helmuth Trischler have presented their ideas on the importance of communication and public engagement with research for dealing with the problems of the future.
In an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur (in German), Jürgen Renn emphasized how the global Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives, and in particular the relationship between society and academic research. Research shapes everyday life, Renn argues, and so topics such as genetic engineering, climate change, and biodiversity loss must be publicly discussed on the basis of shared scientific knowledge in order to take appropriate action.
"Academic research needs to take a new form: extremely interdisciplinary, decidedly cooperative, and in dialogue with society and politics," states Renn. This new phenomenon is palpable in discussions concerning measures against the current pandemic, where the public is confronted with an ongoing learning process of science and politics. In view of widespread skepticism and fake news, Renn advocates for a new "enlightenment" in academic research in order to mobilize its knowledge and make it publicly available for dealing with the challenges of the future.
Visiting Scholar Helmuth Trischler further emphasizes this point in a Leopoldina interview series “Science in Times of Pandemic” (in German). In discussion with Jan-Martin Wiarda, Trischler underlines both the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on research, and the importance of communicating and discussing research findings with the public.