Universities as living labs for science communication



Science communication research and education programmes worldwide exhibit notable differences as well as similarities. In this essay the authors claim that this diversity is not a problem. They argue that universities can contribute well to the science communication field, theoretically and in practice, if they invest in building collaborations and make use of the ‘networked pattern’ connecting various actors, contexts and contents. As critical nodes in the networks, universities can enable practitioners to deliver real-life cases, students to participate to find solutions and researchers to investigate and explain. Universities can also prepare their students and (future) practitioners for lifelong learning in the dynamic context of science communication, helping them to become adaptive experts. These two aspects will be illustrated in the case study of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.