Beat The Crisis with Science Debates

German Science Debate Logo (c) TELI

The Science Debate is on. The German Association of Science Writers TELI has launched a new platform of unique exchange at the Annual Reunion of Science Journalists “Wissenswerte” in Bremen. It shall link science and researchers, political and economical leaders with the Civil Society.  The initiators are worried that a lot of research is not being reported properly, especially its impact on the society. The German Science Debate shall resolve this impasse and open new avenues of dialogue.

The German Science Debate rests on three major columns: the energy challenge and how to create sustainable and environmentally safe sources, health and nutrition, demography and old age. The initiators believe that these are the main issues in the coming decades, closely interwoven with science, technology and research. If these fields affect the prosperity and well-being of the majority of the population, then the society should have a word as to the purposes and outcome of this research. These means of participation are also crucial for the preservation and enhancement of democracy.

The German Science Debate is zeroing in on current science news and trends, raising pros and cons, acquiring statements and contributions of key institutions and leaders involved in these topics and, finally, striving for public face-to-face debates. Ultimately, this dialogue shall contribute to the German election campaign, culminating in September 2013 in the election of a new chancelor and federal representatives. The first science debate was initiated already in 2009. It involved scientific leaders, politicians and members of the civil society. At the end, it could only conclude that science and technology did not play a role during the election campaign. They were hardly mentioned.

One year later, TELI and EUSJA jointy presented the science debate for the first time on the European level. At ESOF Turin 2010, an international panel assessed its potential and pointed out its innovative elements. In some countries such as Estonia a science debate has been held since then. At the World Conference 2013 in Helsinki, EUSJA President em. Hanns-J. Neubert will introduce the science debate as a world-wide vehicle to bridge science and the civil society. Especially the European Union seems to be open to utilize this new tool of citizens’ participation. Science journalists are the natural moderators of these dialogues. They are not only essential for our future, but also create new means of employment.

Science Debate 2013, London Pantaneto Forum http://www.pantaneto.co.uk/issue49/goede.htm
Science Debate 2012/13 of the German Association of Science Writers http://www.teli.de/blog/
Science Debate 2009 http://www.teli.de/wissenschaftsdebatte/index2009.html
Result Debate 2009 http://www.teli.de/wissenschaftsdebatte/pm2009-09.html
Science Debate 2010 (ESOF Turin) to 2012 http://www.teli.de/wissenschaftsdebatte/index.html

About Wolfgang C. Goede

Wolfgang C. Goede is a science journalist based in Munich, Germany, board member of the German Association of Science Writers TELI, Honorary Secretary of the European Science Journalists' Associations EUSJA