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Jun 20, 2023 Editorial
Introduction: Living Labs Under Construction

by Caroline Wehrmann, Christian Pentzold, Ingmar Rothe and Andreas Bischof

Living Labs galore. Involving citizens and other stakeholders in science endeavors and integrating them in the design of new technologies and scientific inquiry is a core aim of contemporary research and development. Living labs are prime places in the quest of science to be more inclusive and to open up to people from all walks of life, including politics, design, and culture. Promising to foster participation, collaboration and co-creation around science, living labs have been mushrooming across the academe, from STEM subjects to the humanities. In fact, they have become the token for an up-to-date science communication that is not satisfied with conveying expert information but seeks an exchange with people that are addressed as the participants of, not just the audience for research. That said, it is also in living labs where the tension between the normative axioms and the precarious implementation of participatory science become succinctly apparent.

Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science

Dec 13, 2017 Commentary
Universities as living labs for science communication

by Caroline Wehrmann and Maarten van der Sanden

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.

Volume 16 • Issue 05 • 2017