Wissenschaft im Dialog (Science in Dialogue, WiD) is an initiative of the leading German research organisations. Since 1999, WiD has been fostering dialogue between the public and the science and research sector by organising discussion events, exhibitions and competitions. The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has been a partner of WiD since 2014.
The Leopoldina has been holding discussion events as part of the Wissenschaft kontrovers series since 2011, in cooperation with Wissenschaft im Dialog and the Haus der Wissenschaft Braunschweig. The aim of the series is to bring representatives from science and the media together with interested citizens to discuss current scientific topics. These topics are always related to the themes of the Science Years, organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Science Year 2015, for example, focused on the “City of the Future”, while the theme for 2016/17 is “Seas and Oceans”.
The Wissenschaft kontrovers series is funded by the BMBF and offers interactive discussion formats such as fishbowl discussions and night-time science cafés. In a fishbowl discussion, experts debate a topic in a circle in the middle of the room, and members of the public can take a free seat in the circle and participate directly in the discussion. At the night-time science cafés, experts begin by presenting their standpoints in keynote speeches. Following these speeches, participants discuss the topics at their tables in a coffeehouse atmosphere and develop questions and suggestions that are summarised in a general discussion at the end.
Wissenschaftliches Nachtcafé „Ozean – Erde – Mensch: Der Einfluss des Klimawandels auf das Meer” Leopoldina, 1 July 2016
Fishbowl Discussion „Alt + krank = arm? Können wir unsere Gesundheit noch bezahlen?” Leopoldina, 25 October 2013
Fishbowl Discussion „Kommt der Blackout? Die Zukunft der Energieversorgung in Mitteldeutschland” Magdeburg, 19 December 2012
Fishbowl Discussion „Was darf die Wissenschaft? Forschung zwischen Freiheit und Verantwortung” Leopoldina, 6 July 2012
Fishbowl Discussion „Arbeiten in einem längeren Leben: Wie wir gesund und aktiv bleiben” Bremen, 25 October 2011
Fishbowl Discussion „Auf dem Weg zum Designerbaby? – Das Für und Wider der Präimplantationsdiagnostik” Leopoldina, 26 April 2011
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