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We’re hiring: Evaluation Coordinator

The MSCL positions itself at the interface between science, science communication practice and science communication research. At the center of its work is the topic of planetary health. The MSCL brings together communication science, practice, and planetary health researchers to create space for an experimental approach to science communication. Our research aims not only to advance the academic debate, but also to provide and develop tools and resources for evaluating science communication. In terms of transparent quality management, it is important to define clear goals and target groups in the conception and planning of science communication formats and to collect meaningful data in order to be able to validly measure and analyze effects.

Job Description: As an Evaluation Coordinator, you will be part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists working on science communication in the context of global warming, habitability change, and planetary health. You will ensure the quality of the MSCL’s experiments and studies by coordinating our summative or formative evaluation and, in some cases, planning, conducting, and evaluating them yourself. For this purpose, you will use methods of empirical social research. In addition, you will be responsible for developing standardized, ethically sound, and scalable evaluation concepts as a basis for various formats of science communication.

The scope of duties includes:

  • Teaching evaluation methods to science communicators and compiling appropriate teaching and practice material for workshops.
  • Guiding the whole evaluation process (planning, implementation, evaluation, publication) of science communication activities in a team with experts in science communication practice, planetary health researchers, and other science communication stakeholders.
  • Coordination and implementation of the evaluation and support of the responsible persons to ensure efficient, valid, and reliable data collection.
  • Evaluating the data and advising the participants on how to interpret the results.
  • Cooperation with the communication science research team in further developing evaluation methods and in the scientific publication of the findings.

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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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Call for Participation

We are pleased to announce our first call for participation in a co-creation process on the topic of Planetary Health communication.

On March 28th at 3:30 PM, 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. In the workshop, English and German speakers are welcomed.

Find the Call in English and German with further information about the process and important deadlines. We would be very pleased if you share our call with your network and, of course, if you participate in our workshop/submit a proposal yourself.

Don’t hesitate to distribute the call in your respective networks.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please have a look at our FAQ, do not hesitate to contact us at: info@mscl.de. We will have a virtual Q&A on February 21, 3:30 PM (German time), the details will be shared on our mailing list, to which you can sign on right here:

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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.

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    MSCL Presentation Video

    An introductory video on the MSCL’s topic area, goals, planned processes, and participants.

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    This video was produced by MediaSchool Bayern for the Munich Science Communication Lab.

    Science communication is currently facing the challenge of explaining the complex links between climate change and human health and pointing out options for action. Global challenges such as pandemics or climate change are proving that scientific research, societal changes, individual choices and political actions are tightly entangled. In no field is this so evident as in the emerging field of planetary health.


    This videos introduces the Munich Science Communication Lab (MSCL), located at LMU Munich, which is taking on this challenge and addressing burning issues in the field of planetary health. The MSCL is based on a partnership between science communication academics, practitioners and subject-matter researchers.

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    2021 MSCL Symposium – Communicating Planetary Health

    The 2021 MSCL Symposium happened virtually on July 29th, 2021.

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    2021 MSCL Symposium – Trailer

    Planetary Health as a Wicked Problem for Science Communication

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    Sara Davis – Reflecting on the role of public communication in an age of wicked problems.

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    Sam Myers: Planetary Health: The Science and the Story

    Session 1 with keynotes and discussion moderated by Michael John Gorman (BIOTOPIA / LMU Munich).

    • Sarah Davies, Professor of Technosciences, Materiality, & Digital Cultures at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna.
    • Sam Myers, Principal Research Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance.

    Planetary Health in the Media: Chances and Risks of a New Approach

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    Session 2: Conversation moderated by Bernhard Goodwin (LMU Munich / Mediaschool Bayern) with:

    • Philipp Dettmer, Information Designer, Kurzgesagt.
    • Henriette Löwisch, School Director of the Deutsche Journalistenschule DJS.
    • Astrid Viciano, Editor of Medien-Doktor Gesundheit, medical reporter.

    Closing Discussion

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    Moderation: Christof Mauch, Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment & Society, LMU Munich.

    • Julia Pongratz, Chair of Physical Geography and Land Use Systems, LMU Munich.
    • Constanze Rossmann, Professor of Communication Science, University of Erfurt.
    • Helmuth Trischler, Professor of Modern History and the History of Technology at LMU Munich, Head of Research at Deutsches Museum.
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    Communicating Planetary Health Workshop

    Virtual Workshop on February 25 2021 with the goal to be a first milestone for the Lab.

    Summary

    Planetary health is an incredibly important, large and complicated issue. This means, there needs to be a vision, collaboration, and creativity. Or to put it in terms of the planetary health community, there is a knowledge challenge, an implementation challenge, and an imagination challenge before us.

    With the Munich Science Communication Lab, we want to be part of this transdisciplinary community because we think that communication plays a threefold important role in the processes at hand. First, communication is important for us in interacting with the public we serve – to get the message out. Secondly, communication is also important to get the message in, to understand how the public perceives our facts, visions, and solutions. Thirdly communication is important for us as a field, to understand ourselves and each other. Defining what we are and agreeing on a common language, while keeping our diversity and openness.

    The workshop created a shared vision of how to do this.