Headline: Connecting Science and Society: Call for Applications to the Potsdam Summer School 2019

Interactions between science and society are at the centre of this year’s Potsdam Summer School, which will take place from 20 to 29 August 2019. It will explore the importance of science communication in order to find effective ways of communicating highly relevant topics in the field of sustainability and global change.

Potsdam Summer School 2019
istock/Christian Horz

Since the sharing of interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise is a key aspect of the Summer School, the following questions will also guide the ten-day programme:

  • How can scientists address audiences from other societal areas?
  • Can all sustainability topics be communicated in the same way?
  • Should scientists become advocates rather than maintaining a neutral stance?
  • How can we deal with incomplete or misrepresented scientific information?
  • How can we reduce complexity without losing the scientific character?
  • How can we strengthen the credibility of scientific findings?

With its overarching theme – “Connecting Science & Society – Communicating Research on Sustainability and Global Change” – this year’s Potsdam Summer School will continue the transdisciplinary and interactive event series that has been held annually in Potsdam since 2014. The Summer School will provide its participants with a comprehensive look into theories and methods of science communication. They will engage in discussions and group work, where they will be provided with the tools to develop effective communication strategies.

The aim is to bring together talented early-career scientists and young professionals operating in the private sector, governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations from many different parts of the world to discuss frontier (research) questions on future sustainable development. We also aim to train science communication ambassadors who are eager to engage with various sectors of the public back in their home countries. Our goal is to improve science awareness, help to develop informed opinions, and enhance the transferable skills of current researchers.

In this context, the Potsdam Summer School provides a unique opportunity for all participants to foster international cooperation and an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. These issues span a multitude of natural and social science disciplines and invite stakeholders from the public and private sector to get involved.

In partnership with Geo.X and the City of Potsdam, the 2019 Potsdam Summer School will be jointly organised by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and the University of Potsdam. Experts, stakeholders, and guest lecturers from high-level national and international institutes and organisations will contribute their knowledge and insights to the Summer School programme. The programme will comprise lectures, various discussion formats, and interactive group activities.

The call for applications will start on 1 February and the deadline for submitting applications is 20 May.

More information: