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In search for common ground to realize interdisciplinarity in
environmental research
A workshop for interdisciplinary researchers


Datum: November 15th 2018

Ort: Landau i. d. Pfalz


The objective was to discuss and to share experiences about concrete everyday stages of interdisciplinary work; from the application and implementation of interdisciplinary projects, implementation of integrative techniques, conflict management during collaboration, to interdisciplinary publication. The workshop will be accompanied by lectures of leading experts in interdisciplinary research.




The workshop was organized by the Interdisciplinary Research Group for Environmental Studies (IFG-Umwelt) and was oriented towards young scientists from natural and social sciences working on interdisciplinary environmental topics.


Bild zeigt eine Halle mit Menschen die sich unterhalten.




Communication about scientific uncertainty in environmental research

A workshop for interdisciplinary researchers

Datum: October 22nd 2012

Ort: Trifels

2 Column Layout

Über 25 Teilnehmer aus den verschiedensten Disziplinen (z.B. Psychologie, Kommunikationswissenschaften, Biologie, Umweltwissenschaften, Journalisten) nahmen am Workshop teil. Es gab zu allen Vorträgen und Arbeitsgruppen rege Diskussionen und interessante Ergebnisse.


Public perceptions of environmental risks and problems and environmentally conscious behaviors depend highly on media reports and the public communication about environmental issues. Especially important might be how certain or uncertain laypersons perceive the scientific evidence concerning environmental research in general or in specific cases – such as climate change or the ecological consequences of nanoparticles. Most people have no “sophisticated” knowledge about scientific evidence, its causes, or impact on environmental issues. Thus, journalists may play an important role for the public understanding of and engagement with environmental research: media reports about scientific uncertainties might enable people to make informed decisions. However, scientists often avoid to share such information because they are worried that their scientific results will be presented incompletely or even wrong in media reports. Accordingly, journalists sometimes note that there is a lack of information about scientific uncertainty. To enable responsible actions on either “side”, some conditions must be met: the uncertainty and knowledge gaps in scientific research must be reflected by the scientists and hence objectively communicated to journalists. Journalists – on the other hand – must be well informed about the field of research to be able to present environmental issues in an objective and well-balanced manner.

This workshop focuses on these challenges with the goal to encourage the dialogue between scientists and journalists about scientific uncertainty in environmental research and to provide transparency for the communication partners. The workshop addresses scientists and journalists involved in environmental issues and questions. The following central questions will be discussed:

A) From a journalist’s perspective:
How do journalists define scientific uncertainty? From where do they get their knowledge about scientific uncertainty? How can journalists identify appropriate experts? How do they decide whether and how to report about uncertainties in environmental research?

B) From a scientist’s perspective
How do scientists define scientific uncertainty? What are the uncertainties in environmental research? What should and what can be communicated by scientists? How should be dealt with scientific uncertainty? What are their experiences with communication about uncertainty and what can we learn from that? When is scientific uncertainty not only scientifically relevant, but has an impact on the society in general?




2 Column Layou