2020 will be remembered as the year of the Corona pandemic – and thus also as the year in which the importance of science journalism for an informed public became abundantly clear worldwide. Individual scientists reached an audience of millions and became important advisors to policymakers and the public. At the same time, the pandemic exacerbated the already precarious economic situation of many media companies. Against this background, the European conference and event series “Science Journalism in the Digital Age” (EU-SciCon) took a look at the future of science journalism.
Various online lectures and discussions took place from fall 2020 to spring 2021. International media experts from Canada, the USA, Great Britain, Switzerland and Germany examined possible future options for journalism about science from different perspectives. All presentations were streamed live, recorded, transcribed and documented on the event website. The series concluded with an EU-SciCon working conference in Freiburg on May 12, 2021.
con gressa managed the website, organized the online events and supported the implementation of the final conference.
Held for the first time in Germany and taking place in November 2019 was the Nobel Prize Dialogue – an exchange between Nobel laureates, the world’s best researchers, stakeholders from politics, media and the interested public. The theme of the event was “Towards Health: Equality, Responsibility and Research”.
The Nobel Prize Dialogue originated in Sweden, where since 2012 it has regularly built bridges between science and society during the week of the Nobel Prize awards, honoring the human spirit of invention and research and inspiring shared creative thinking.
The Nobel Prize Dialogue Berlin was a cooperation between Nobel Media AB and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation and, as an additional supporter, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. con gressa was responsible for project management, marketing and event organization.
Fotos: David Ausserhofer (www.ausserhofer.de)
At the Berlin Institute of Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB), an institute of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), around 250 top researchers investigate how genes control the life of cells and thus influence health and disease.
The BIMSB is located in a new, architecturally impressive research building in Berlin-Mitte and at its grand opening on February 26, 2019, it was not only the architecture that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was attending for, but rather primarily to honour BIMSB’s outstanding research. The chancellor was able to see this for herself during her visit, which also included a tour of the laboratory.
Together with the team at the MDC, con gressa ensured that the opening was an exciting experience for everyone involved.
Fotos: David Ausserhofer (www.ausserhofer.de)
Since 2011, con gressa has been active at the Days and Nights of Knowledge in Hamburg. In 2019 in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Research and Equality Hamburg, con gressa ran the four-day science festival “Summer of Knowledge” where approximately 50,000 visitors gathered around Hamburg’s Rathausmarkt.
In four large themed tents around Hamburg’s Rathausmarkt, around 50,000 locals and visitors to the city gained fascinating insights into the world of science over a long weekend. Around 40 Hamburg universities and research institutions presented themselves at the event.
The range of con gressa’s tasks included outdoor advertising and advertisement planning, social media activities surrounding the event and support for press relations.
Fotos: Alena Zielinski
Con gressa has been supporting the organizers of science nights for many years – with consulting and concept design services as well as managing certain aspects of the realisation of events. For example, we worked for the Night of Laboratories (Nacht der Labore) in Lübeck, the Night of Knowledge (Nacht des Wissens) in Göttingen, the TU-Night in Braunschweig and the Campus Night Osnabrück. Since 2011 we also regularly manage events for the city of Hamburg, for instance in 2019 with the Summer of Knowledge (Sommer des Wissens).
Since 2002 and almost continuously until 2019, con gressa organized the Long Night of the Sciences (Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften) in Berlin and Potsdam, an annual event where about 70 scientific and science-related institutions open their doors to interested citizens. Our tasks included project management, budget management and participant support as well as the coordination of ticketing and shuttle bus transportation. We were also responsible the event marketing using a variety of advertising measures, a website, press and public relations, and social media.
Fotos: Bettina Ausserhofer, David Ausserhofer (www.ausserhofer.de), Jens Jeske
con gressa has been organizing a variety of events for the Alexander von Humbold Foundation for many years – since 2020 nearly all of them online. Special times require special measures: in 2020 and 2021 con gressa designed and orchestrated, among other things, the foundation‘s annual conference as elaborate multimedia online events. Each running for two days, over 1,000 people from all over the world were able to network in a “virtual venue” and participate in up to 35 talks and workshops – with overwhelmingly positive feedback. In addition to the conceptual design of the event, con gressa also penned the script for the opening, managed the acquisition of speakers for the science talks, handled participation management and was responsible for the comprehensive technical support of the events.
Currently, we are responsible for the Foundation’s annual receptions, the meetings of the International Advisory Board and also the upcoming annual conference. We organize events within the framework of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative and the Humboldt Colloquia, which we hope will soon be held again in person throughout the world. Not only does con gress perform classic agency services such as complete event organization and budget monitoring, participation management, VIP support and designing of publications, we also complement each situation according to the specific requirements of the event format – depending on whether it is an on-site event, a hybrid format or a purely online event, con gressa has the expertise to (further) develop event formats.
Fotos: David Ausserhofer (www.ausserhofer.de), Jens Jeske
As part of the “Research in Germany” initiative, the InnoHealth China campaign was the focus at this two-day network meeting. It was particularly important to the client that the meeting allowed for an informal exchange of ideas and getting to know the speakers.
In addition to technical presentations, the participants could meet before and after the event as well as during the breaks in a virtual lounge. A tool providing the possibility to take a seat in a virtual discussion round in real time was researched and set up by our team. The participants were thus encouraged to meet and move freely in the lounge.
con gressa was responsible for the technical implementation and support during the event.
Fotos: con gressa GmbH
The Association for the Promotion of German & International Science Law analyzes and discusses topics related to science law. Since 2018, con gressa has been responsible for member support, financial administration, communication and event organisation.
“Does science need compliance?” was the title of one of the association’s events in 2019. Among other topics, the conference focused on the question of whether the implementation of a compliance structure in scientific institutions is a useful or even necessary measure. Members of the association are renowned scientists and science administrators from the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The association is a recognised non-profit organisation and has been in existence for 25 years: www.verein-wissenschaftsrecht.de.
Copyright pictures: con gressa GmbH
con gressa planned and organized the “Experiment Future” for the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) twice consecutively – an event at which scientific and socio-political problems are examined and potential solutions are developed in workshops.
“Knowledge and non-knowledge” was the motto of the event in September 2019, which was approached by participants from various disciplines. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the GDCh in 2017, the topic “Wertedenken in der Chemie” (value thinking in chemistry) was the focus of attention. At the end of the annual science forum, the one-day, dialogue-oriented event focused on how the results of chemical research and development and the know-how of chemical experts can help overcome global challenges. After short keynote speeches, the participants were able to brainstorm and discuss various topics in a world café-style format. Participants took part in a fishbowl format or participated in the “House of Commons debate”.
con gressa consulted the GDCh on the formats and supported the event management on site.
Copyrights pictures: GDCh, Christian Augustin, Hamburg / Graphic: Sketch notes by Dr. Johannes Richers (www.jorichers.com)
Together with the “Science in Dialogue” initiative, we offer two-day advanced training courses on science communication in various German cities. We help scientists answer such questions as: How can I bring my topics and results to the media? Which topics are even of interest to journalists, and what are the benefits of communicating my knowledge? What platforms and channels can scientists use to communicate directly with the public? And what constitutes good science communication?
n our Summer Schools, young professionals from science, technology and communication can discuss these and other questions with experts from research and practice in science communication. In addition to introducing theoretical basics, practical examples are presented and concepts are taught through exercises. The Summer Schools (which are not only held during summer) are touring through Germany. Science institutions that would like to host a Summer School at their location are welcome to contact us. Further details and information on how to register can be found on our website www.wissenschaftkommunizieren.de.
Copyright images: con gressa GmbH