Science Communication of Scientifically Working Psychologists in the German-Speaking Area – An Empirical Evaluation of the Current Situation

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Description: The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims at promoting science communication in a more targeted way. This fits to a recently published demand by the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat), which would like to see more science communication from psychologists working in science. To be able to promote science communication, it is necessary to establish how and how much scientists are involved in science communication. Here, we present a survey among German-speaking psychologists working in science (N = 740). The results show that German-speaking psychologists were less frequently engaged in science communication than researchers in other countries. As the main reason for science communication, respondents stated that science communication was fun and that they felt an obligation to communicate science to society and taxpayers. Lack of time, low prioritization, and doubts about one’s competence were rated as the strongest inhibiting factors. More institutional support for administrative tasks and for teaching activities were the most frequently listed wishes to promote science communication. In the discussion, we put these findings in context with prior international surveys and consider possibilities to promote science communication.

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