A cybernetic dream: how a crisis in social sciences leads us to a Communication for Innovation-Laboratory
After the first paradigm shift from the deficit model to two-way communication, the field of science communication is in need of a second paradigm shift. This second shift sees communication as an inherently distributed element in the socio-technical system of science and technology development. Science communication is understood both from a systems perspective and its consecutive parts, in order to get a grip on the complex and dynamic reality of science, technology development and innovation in which scientists, industrial and governmental partners and the lay public collaborate. This essay reflects on the under-development of system thinking in science communication and the need to fix this. Legitimation for the second paradigm shift is found in the ‘crisis in social sciences’ that has led to a revival of system theory to balance the deterministic thinking in our grounding discipline. This essay concludes with the idea of a ‘Communication for Innovation-Lab’ as an experimental setting in which whole/part thinking in science communication can be shaped according to this second paradigm shift, forming seed crystals for future developments.