The ten-part virtual lecture series “Science Journalism in the Digital Age II” (SciCon 2.0) focused on topics that are relevant for the digital transformation of journalism and addressed practical ideas that could be developed and implemented for Germany. The series was organised by the German Science Journalists’ Association (WPK) and the Science Media Center Germany (SMC).

Based on a thorough analysis of best practice examples and internationally identifiable solution-oriented approaches, the lecture series explored

  • the conditions under which state and civil society actors could play an active role in shaping media and promoting transformation in Germany (general conditions for promoting independent journalism),
  • the extent to which public broadcasting, which is a strong sector in Germany, has a special responsibility to ensure the quality of science journalism coverage and the preconditions for doing so (role of public media systems for sustainable science journalism),
  • the potential market-based or otherwise viable monetisation options that are open to journalism in a digitally revolutionised and pluralised media environment (e.g., new business and payment models in journalism, role of community building for the creation of new media offerings, non-profit journalism concepts) and what role novel innovations can play in this.

The lecture series culminated in an international conference in Berlin in November 2023, which, together with insights from the two lecture series, will inform recommendations for a policy paper.


Our virtual lecture series, which was launched in 2020, sought to address the future of journalism from an international perspective. We thus invited leading experts and practitioners from all over the world to share and discuss their knowledge on how to manage structural change in journalism. At the SciCon closing event on 9/10 November 2023 in Berlin, some 70 distinguished international participants got together to pool ideas on how to use this wealth of international experience to future-proof and promote journalism. 

It was a great honour to welcome so many experts from science, journalism, civil society, business and politics, who have shown so much dedication in exploring concrete steps for action in Germany based on the evidence and best practice examples gathered during the SciCon lecture series.


From October 2020 to April 2021, the German Science Journalists’ Association (WPK) and acatech organized the online lecture series “Science journalism in the Digital Age I” (SciCon 1.0).

In 16 virtual lectures international media experts discussed possible options for the future of quality journalism – including Esther Alonso (elDiario), Deborah Blum (MIT Knight Science Journalism Program), Dame Frances Cairncross (UCLA), Julia Cagé (Sciences Po Paris), Jonathan Heawood (IMPRESS), Donatien Huet (Mediapart), Martin Jönsson (Dagens Nyheter), Amanda D. Lotz (Queensland University), Nadja Oertelt (Massive Science), Victor Pickard (Annenberg School for Communication), Aron Pilhofer (Temple University), Tom Rosenstiel (American Press Institute) & Anya Schiffrin (Columbia University).

The motivation for launching the SciCon lecture series was to explore and discuss how science communication is responding to structural change in the media system, the strategies that are being employed and how they might affect the role of science journalism in the future. Our aim was to gather knowledge, experience and examples of best practice from experts and practitioners around the world in order to formulate recommendations for future science journalism policy in Germany: What self-image can guide quality science journalism in the digital age? What approaches and partnerships, what business models can lead science journalism into the future? How can states, foundations and private sector players shape this process of transformation?

All lectures were streamed live, recorded, transcribed and have been made available on the SciCon website. We have thus created a knowledge reservoir addressing the main challenges science journalism will have to face in the future.

The SciCon Summary documents the entire series of talks with all analyses, experiences, ideas and recommendations from researchers, journalists, entrepreneurs and media experts in Australia, Canada and the United States as well as numerous countries in Europe.


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