During the corona pandemic, it became clear how necessary it is to have fact-based science communication that is oriented toward the common good: it creates trust among its target groups. This is the prerequisite for science to maintain its independence and fulfil its role as a shaper of the future. This structure is still largely intact. With the growing number of social transformation processes, however, the pressure on the science system to defend its relevance and legitimacy and to be present in more and more areas of discourse, including digital ones, is increasing. This poses enormous challenges for science communication – challenges that the Volkswagen Foundation also helps to tackle. It wants to offer the science system spaces for discourse and interaction in order to pave the way for forward-looking attitudes and concepts.
In the Herrenhausen Palace conference center in Hanover, the Foundation will offer the general public panel discussions with top-class experts on current scientific issues, partly in cooperation with public broadcasting media. In addition, centers are set up and supported at selected universities in which research communication will be carried out on an internationally competitive level – with partners in Germany and abroad and on issues that are to be particularly relevant for communicative practice. The goal is not simply more science communication at any price, but better science communication – putting science where it belongs: at the center of society.