Go get them in the subway!
Science-festivals are booming, open house events are packed and it looks like every science-institution of class has to have an artist in residence program. At the same time ‚alternative facts‘ are part of a populist surge that globally shakes societies.
What are we doing wrong?
Conventional communication addresses those who are already interested in science. We are preaching to the converted. But if scientific knowledge is to show an effect for society ‚everybody‘ has to be reached - especially those who skip the science-part in the newspaper or wouldn’t lose sleep for a science-night.
In order to reach those ‚non-believers‘ Paul-Drude-Institut has brought MTL (a concept developed by the greek organization SciCo) to Berlin, presenting science of nine Leibniz-institutes and DLR in 5 subway stations. This experiment during Berlin Science Week was new to everybody involved. Mercedes Reischel (transfer-manager at PDI) found a wonderful partner in Berlins BVG, the Science Week put MTL on the podium of the press-conference with the Major and all Leibniz-institutes showed enormous tolerance to the little hiccups such an experimental approach brings along.
Nobody had a clue: how do school-kids react to water fleas under a microscope? What touches the senior citizen who is confronted with wildlife research? What does the streetmusician ask the ultrasound-physicist?
The experience for all sides is enormous. This format is a small but important step to find new science-friends. And yes, we did help with physics homework…
(this appeared in VerbundJournal of Forschungsverbund Berlin)