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Allgemein Events News

MSCL Colloquium – Clara Kühner, M. Sc.

We would like to invite you to our next virtual MSCL Colloquium on October 18th at 13:00.

Ms. Kühner will tackle the question Why don’t we act in times of planetary crisis? Explaining cognitive action barriers from a climate psychology perspective. Climate scientists agree that the climate crisis poses an existential threat to humanity. Although this knowledge has now reached large parts of society, the collective climate protection measures taken are far from sufficient. What is holding back policy makers, society, and individuals from taking action? The talk will introduce various cognitive action barriers, such as the principle of cognitive dissonance, the bystander effect or the single action bias

Ms. Kühner is the MSCL’s Evaluation Coordinator. She studied psychology at the LMU and the University of Bamberg, focusing on work and organizational psychology and social psychology. She recently submitted her doctoral thesis on the connections between work and employee well-being to the University of Leipzig and is expected to receive her PhD at the end of 2022. Her work combines various statistical methods such as diary studies and meta-analyses. Parallel to her dissertation, Clara worked in a consulting company until 2022, gave lectures on work and organizational psychology at the FOM University of Applied Sciences, and has been invited by various institutions (e.g., The Akademie für Politische Bildung) to give talks and workshops on climate psychology.

This is an online event carried out in English. However, questions in German are also welcomed. We look forward to your participation in our lively after-talk discussion! If you haven’t yet, please register here in advance.

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Events News

MSCL Colloquium – Dr. Jeanne Rubner 

Our next MSCL Colloquium is already on September 13th at 12:00.

We will welcome Dr. Jeanne Rubner to lead the discussion on „TUM und andere Hochschulen: Welche Rolle spielen sie bei der Kommunikation von Wissen?“ (“TUM and other universities: What is their role in communicating knowledge?”)

Dr. Rubner is the Vice President of Global Communication and Public Engagement, as well as the department head of the Corporate Communications Center at TUM.

For the last ten years Dr. Rubner, who holds a doctorate in physics, has headed the tri-medial editorial section covering Knowledge and Education (“Wissen und Bildung aktuell”) at Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bavaria’s public broadcasting service. She also teaches Scientific Communication at the Munich School of Politics and Public Policy (“Hochschule für Politik München”). In 2012 she concluded more than 20 years as an editor at the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. In 2019 the German Physical Society awarded her its Medal for Natural Science Journalism.

This is a virtual event held in German. However, questions in English are also welcomed. Please register here in advance: https://lmu-munich.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0lcOCprT4iG90-tfPP5HwyAFzGk8dzZ7JL

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We look forward to your participation in our lively after-talk discussion!

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Events News

MSCL Colloquium – Maike Voss

We would like to invite you to our next MSCL Colloquium on September 6th at 14:00.

Maike Voss (MPH) will be discussing the challenges and opportunities in political communication about planetary health and how to drive transformative options for actions.

Maike Voss is a health scientist and the managing director of the Center for Planetary Health Policy (CPHP) – a new collaborative think tank initiative by the German Alliance on Climate Change and Health (Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit e.V. KLUG). Previously, she led the Global Health Governance Research Group at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Her research focuses on the governance of global and planetary health and addresses interactions between health, climate change, and security. She is a founding member of Women in Global Health, served on the Steering Committee of the German Alliance for Global Health Research 2021-2022, and was appointed to the Lancet Commission for Synergies between Health Security, Universal Health Coverage and Health Promotion in 2018. She teaches at several German universities, including Bremen, Bielefeld, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and is a freelance presenter. Before joining SWP, she was a research associate at the Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research at the University of Bremen.

This is a virtual event held in German. However, questions in English are also welcomed. Please register here in advance.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We look forward to your participation in our lively after-talk discussion!

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Blog

Interview with Dr. Eva Winzer – MSCL Impressions

Eva Winzer is a post-doctoral researcher in Public Health Nutrition at the Medical University of Vienna, at the Centre for Public Health. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences and a Ph.D. in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Winzer has almost ten years of experience in Public Health Nutrition, Malnutrition, and Chronic Disease Prevention. Recently, she has included Digital Public Health in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention in her research focus, mainly Digital Food Environment.

Currently, she is a visiting scholar at the Department of Media & Communication at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) of Munich. During her stay and hopefully beyond, she is working on the topic of science communication about planetary health with the Munich Science Communication Lab.

Q: How are you and your work related to the MSCL?

E.W.: Dr. Brigitte Naderer from the LMU of Munich at the Department of Media & Communication, my colleagues from the Medical University of Vienna at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and I conducted a content analysis on meals, snacks, and drinks that appeared in videos and posts by six of the most popular German-speaking influencers on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Together, the efforts of these three men and three women reach and influence more than 35 million followers and subscribers in the 13 to 17 age group. This study showed that three-quarters of the foods and beverages presented were so high in fat, sugar, and/or salt that, according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2022) guidelines, they should not be marketed to children. The majority of these products were ultra-processed foods (~80%). This finding is consistent with other studies, showing that ultra-processed food producers aggressively market their products and interfere with implementating policies and regulations to improve public and planetary health (Swinburn BA et al., 2019, Barlow P et al., 2018).

These foods have undergone several industrial processing steps and contain many ingredients and additives. As a result, they often contain a high amount of fat, sugar, salt, artificial colors, flavors, and stabilizers and no longer provide the key properties of healthy foods. The artificial additives are intended to give food flavor or enhance it, make it last longer, and spice it up visually. Examples include carbonated soft drinks, confectionery, snacks, compounded meat products or fast food, ready meals, and more (Monteiro CA et al., 2019). Ultra-processed foods are prevalent in diets worldwide (Monteiro CA et al., 2013), and their increased consumption has been linked to several chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (Elizabeth L et al., 2020). In addition, ultra-processed foods have been identified as one of the most critical diet-related environmental footprints (Hadjikakou M, 2017), and are associated with negative impacts on water consumption (Garzillo JMF et al., 2022). Other evidence suggests that ultra-processed foods use a lot of energy and land in their preparation and contribute to plastic packaging, pollution, deforestation, and biodiversity loss, as described in a recent article in The Conversation (Anastasiou K et al., 2022).

Furthermore, I participated in the workshop organized by the MSCL for co-creating communication on planetary health related to food and food systems on March 28th 2022. I joined the group “Dietary Choices & Self-efficacy”  in this workshop to discuss and develop ideas for experiments and to form teams. I contributed to the team of Lorenz Bodner and Yannick Loyoddin (students from the Medical University of Vienna) with their experiment proposal “Planetary Plate – Recipes Good for You & Good for the Planet.” Additionally, I contributed to the team of Prof. Eva Rehfuess (LMU, Public Health and Health Services Research) with the proposal titled “Influencing Planetary Health Nutrition – harnessing the power of social media to change narratives,” which was successfully funded and supported by the MSCL. Following the MSCL’s mission and goals, experimenting with influencer engagement as a channel for science communication (Su LYF et al. 2022, Caspari G. 2022) will allow the testing of new, innovative communication strategies in the field of nutrition transformation for planetary health towards social change and a transformative society. The motivation of this experiment was to expand the current knowledge on communication strategies in the field of planetary health and public health and to create space for new and innovative concepts.

Q: What’s the connection between science communication and planetary health in your work area? How does your time at the MSCL follow from what you are already doing?

E.W.: As a Nutritional Scientist, I believe planetary health and nutrition are connected. Nutrition, and especially a change in diet, can be seen as a “wicked problem” (Freidberg S. 2016), as there is no (simple) solution for society as a whole to bring current eating habits into line with the “ideal” of planetary nutrition. This is due, among other things, to the complexity of established eating habits in society. The influences on our eating habits range from prenatal imprinting, nutritional education, cultural imprinting, and available budget to health status, interest in nutrition, time commitment, and indirect factors such as exposure to advertising and politics  influencing the food system. All of these factors play a role in implementating scientific findings from research into practice. Planetary Health Nutrition is a way of eating that protects both human health and the planet now and in the future. The 2019 report of the EAT-Lancet Commission, for example, shows what this diet can look like, describing this necessary societal shift in nutrition (Willet W et al., 2019). The core elements are a change in dietary habits towards a more plant-sourced and thus more climate-friendly diet, improving food production and reducing food waste. Starting from the population’s current level of general food consumption, the consumption of foods such as fruit, vegetables, and legumes would have to increase significantly. In contrast, the consuming foods such as meat, other animal products, and ultra-processed foods would have to decrease significantly (Willet W et al., 2019, DGE 2019).

The connection between science communication and planetary health is still missing in my work. As this is a multidisciplinary topic, I would like to involve science communication more in future projects. Therefore, my time at MSCL is to follow on from what I have done so far, as science communication and planetary health should also be closely linked.

Q: What questions about the topic drive you the most? Do you have any related current projects?

E.W.: There are many questions about the topic that drive me. Yet the most important for me is how we can reduce the production, aggressively marketing, and consumption of ultra-processed foods. It might be one way by which we could reduce our environmental footprint and improve our health. These products have no nutritional role in healthy diets and are unnecessary for human nutrition. This also means that the environmental resources we use to create ultra-processed products could be avoided or re-routed into food products necessary for healthy diets. So, reducing ultra-processed foods could provide a unique opportunity for improving the health of both people and the planet.

We will continue our work in digital food marketing, as most of these products are ultra-processed foods and are marketed heavily, especially to children and adolescents. So, we must crack down on social media and challenge the role of influencers in junk food marketing. There is an urgent need for government action and the involvement of civil society to tackle this public and planetary health issue. Spain has recently announced plans to ban influencers pushing unhealthy (mostly high-processed) food and drink to children. Still, most countries, have no restrictions on marketing these foods on websites, social media, or mobile applications. Governments must adopt a comprehensive approach, targeting multiple media channels to encourage our children to make healthy nutrition choices.

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Events News

MSCL Colloquium – Prof. Dr. Julia Pongratz

We would like to invite you to our next MSCL Colloquium on July 26th 12:00.

Prof. Dr. Julia Pongratz will speak about the Challenges in the Discourse about Carbon Capture and Storage: Improving Technological Mitigation without Risking Rebound Effects. With the Paris Agreement, many countries in the world have committed themselves to implementing methods of “Carbon Dioxide Removal”. Prof. Dr. Pongratz will discuss the opportunities and risks associated with this emerging field of climate science and policy.

Prof. Pongratz is a professor and chair in the Department of Physical Geography and Land Use Systems department at LMU and the Director of the Department of Geography at LMU.

This is an online event carried out in English. However, questions in German are also welcomed. We look forward to your participation in our lively after-talk discussion! If you haven’t yet, please register in advance here.

If you missed the event, you can still watch Prof. Pongratz’s presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DaIVsOoyIY

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Events News

MSCL Colloquium – Prof. Dr. Dominique Brossard

We would like to invite you to our next MSCL Colloquium on July 12th at 16:00.

Prof. Dr. Dominique Brossard will lead a discussion on her paper “Science Communication During Covid-19: When Theory Meets Practice, and Best Practices Meet Reality”. Prof. Brossard is a professor and chair in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an affiliate of the UW-Madison Robert & Jean Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, the UW-Madison Center for Global Studies, and the Morgridge Institute for Research. This will be a virtual event in English. Please register here in advance.

To stay updated on the MSCL activities, subscribe to our email list here: https://www.mscl.de/mailing-list/ .

If you missed the event, you can still watch Prof. Brossard’s presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuXzvgb3oSI

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Events News

MSCL Colloquium – Dr. Kavoori

We would like to invite you to our next MSCL Colloquium on June 28th from 11:00 to 12:00.

Dr. Anandam Kavoori will speak on his current paper “Towards a Successful Science/ Environmental Communication Pedagogy”. In this paper, Dr. Kavoori will discuss problems and prospects in teaching science / environmental storytelling and literacy in the classroom over a ten-year period. He will draw on his experience teaching students in the United States and in several international settings, including Austria, Cambodia, Costa Rica, India, Ecuador, and Mexico. Dr. Kavoori is a Professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia.

This discussion will be in English in a hybrid format – if you would like to attend in person, please email us at info@mscl.de. Otherwise, please register here in advance.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the colloquium.

To stay updated on the MSCL activities, subscribe to our email list here: https://www.mscl.de/mailing-list/ .

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Events News

MSCL Colloquium – Dr. Thassilo Franke

This June, we are kicking off our Tuesday’s MSCL Colloquiums series – an open place for discussion and academic reflection on science communication and planetary health. The aim is to have an open space for intellectual thought and reflection on this multidisciplinary topic for the community, students, and practitioners.

With this, we would like to invite you to the first talk of the series “Discussing Science: what works in which format to target whom. Is it possible to achieve the holy grail of science communication?” by Dr. Thassilo Franke, taking place virtually on June 21st, 2022 at 14:00.

Science is important, science arouses keen interest in society, and science should be communicated and discussed. The question is: how? What ingredients go into the soup that makes up good science communication? How long do I cook until even the hard-to-digest ingredients are digestible? How do I dose spices like humor, irony, and provocation? How do I adjust the ingredients to the tastes of the time – or is that even necessary? How do I give the soup my own distinctive flavor? How do I garnish it and to whom do I want to serve it? And – last but not least – how do I find out if everyone liked it?

Discuss these and other questions with Dr. Franke, Science Communicator at MSCL and Senior Researcher at BIOTOPIA – Natural History Museum of Bavaria.

We encourage you to participate and ask you to register in advance here. This session will be held in German.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the colloquium.

To stay updated on the MSCL activities, subscribe to our email list here: https://www.mscl.de/mailing-list/ .

If you missed the event, you can still watch Dr. Franke’s presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2aomUOq12o

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News

FAQ – Call for Participation

Are you a researcher working on planetary health or engaging in science communication? Do you have something to say about food or food systems and how they relate to climate change, environmental protection, and human health? Then the Munich Science Communication Lab (MSCL) is your place to be. On March 28th, we will hold an in-person workshop in Munich where experts, practitioners, and researchers from science communication and planetary health will come together to develop ideas and form teams. The MSCL will help you develop new ideas for communicating planetary health by funding and supporting your project (= experiment) through our experience and network.

Join our workshop or apply directly for an experiment at the MSCL.

FAQs

Workshop:

  • What is going to happen during the workshop?

In the workshop, you will explore innovative ways of communicating about the interaction between human health and the planet’s health with a specific focus on food and food systems. You will meet many people you can form teams with and discuss and develop new ideas on how to communicate planetary health.

  • What is necessary to apply for the workshop?

You need to fill out this form until March 10, 2022, and tell us your motivation, expertise, and ideas at their current stage. Don’t worry if you can’t fill in all the fields yet – we are looking for a diverse group. You can also apply as a team.

  • When and where will the workshop take place?

The workshop will take place on March 28, 2022, at the University of Munich. It will be an in-person event starting at 3:30 PM local time. **

  • Who can apply for the workshop?

Anyone who has a good idea or is interested and motivated to develop an idea related to planetary health communication is welcome to apply for the workshop. It will be a bilingual workshop with input welcomed in English and German. You can already come as a team or as an individual.

  • What if I have a good idea, but I cannot join the workshop?

To apply for an experiment, it is not necessary to join the workshop. You can also directly apply for a funded experiment. **

  • How much does it cost to join the workshop?

The workshop is entirely free. However, travel expenses are not covered.

  • Is there a way to participate in the workshop virtually?

There isn’t a virtual workshop planned yet – the workshop on March 28th is a presence workshop held in Munich. If there is enough interest for a virtual brainstorm session, we will plan one shortly after. Please let us know if you can only meet virtually. Don’t forget that if you have a team and want to be in the process, you don’t have to participate in the workshop to propose an experiment. It is not a pre-requisite.

  • Will only people at the workshop be able to apply for an experiment?

We have two applications – one for attending the workshop and another for the experiment, which can be applied independently.

Experiments:

  • What is meant by an “experiment”?

An experiment can be a media product (e.g. a social media post, a radio show), an event, an exhibit, an installation, or any other communicating activity related to planetary health. **

  • When and where does the experiment need to take place?

You are entirely free in choosing the location. However, the period in which the experiment must take place is between April and August. **

  • How can the MSCL help me?

The MSCL can assist you in conducting the experiment. We have many social scientists and experts in the lab who can help you with questions and support you at any stage of your experiment.

  • Are the experiments funded?

Yes, the experiments are funded with a grant of up to €8,000 in direct costs per team.

  • What are the general requirements for an experiment?

First of all, you do not need to worry if you cannot fulfill all the requirements. We will help you and guide you through the different points. In the end, …

… the experiments should address at least one of the following issues: (1) Framing planetary health, (2) communicating wicked problems, (3) the Mutual Benefit Model of Science Communication. If you want to dig deeper into the topics, look into our call sheet.

… the content has to come from the field of planetary health with a particular focus on food and food systems. The experiments must be based on scientific facts backed by appropriate scientific experts.

… the experiments’ messages, message design, and communication tools must be theory- and evidence-based. That is why we will put a lot of effort into building teams with the appropriate knowledge.

… you should co-create the experiments with its desired stakeholders and have clear, measurable goals and outcomes. The co-creation process and the evaluation are part of the experiment. Data collection must be done scientifically and ethically.

… the experiment ideally includes some variation to evaluate different groups.

… the created knowledge should help to inform future research on the science communication areas described below. This also includes publishing the results of the evaluation. **

  • How do I apply for an experiment?

You must write a four-page proposal and hand it in until April 15, 2022, via mail: info@mscl.de. In the proposal, you need to (1) describe your experiment (including an evaluation plan), (2) justify how you are going to meet our requirements, and (3) plan the monetary and non-monetary resources needed: What do you bring to the table, where do you need the MSCL and its network?

  • I have more than one idea. Can I apply for more than one experiment?

Yes, you can apply for more than one experiment. **

  • I have only a little idea about how social sciences work. Can I still apply for an experiment?

Yes, you can. We will help you find a team partner and, besides that, assist you at every step of the process.

  • What happens after my experiment takes place?

Using social science methods (text/image analysis, participant interviews, observations, experimental designs), we will analyze your experiment and link it to other empirical findings from the research. Together, we will develop a timeline to coordinate the experiment, the study, and the evaluation.

  • Can these experiments take place in 2023?

We wouldn’t exclude this possibility, but it is advantageous if they can produce results this year. This way, we can go into the next round with the knowledge of the first round. The experiments shouldn’t be too extensive.

  • Is it possible to plan an experiment outside of Munich/Germany?

Yes, we welcome experiments taking place in other regions as well.

  • Are you offering support regarding the methodology and practices of data collection during and after the experiment?

Yes, we will try our best and we will share our resources. We do want every team to include an aspect of science communication research.

  • Regarding co-creation, where does co-creation take place if one comes to you with a topic or/and an idea? In the experiment with possible audiences? Or in the workshop/work with you?

Ideally, it takes place in both cases.

  • How do you see the cooperation/application of research institutions that are well funded themselves and/or have their own funds for outreach projects?

There is no problem there. Maybe you have an idea of what you want to implement with us and you don’t need funding, but you would like the space for reflection and the network.

  • How many experiments do you plan altogether?

It will depend on the scope of the experiments. If some require a lot of resources, we will plan less. If they are smaller, we will plan more.

  • Is it possible that one part of the experiment could feed into a master thesis at another University?

There should be no problem. However, there might be an issue with the thesis advisor if they have other ideas in mind and want the student to concentrate on other aspects.

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Allgemein News

Interview

Bernhard Goodwin is Managing Director of the Institute for Communication Science and Media Research at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He studied communication science, psychology, computer science and law, and did his doctorate under Michael Suda and Bertram Scheufele on the transfer of knowledge to society using the example of forestry science.

„Ein sehr drängendes Thema“

At the newly founded Munich Science Communication Lab, scientists and practitioners want to investigate science communication in the field of “Planetary Health”. Communication scientist Bernhard Goodwin explains why he thinks this is relevant and worthwhile. 

This article was published in Wissenschaftskommunikation.de. See the full article in German HERE.