The ten-part virtual lecture series “Science Journalism in the Digital Age II” (SciCon 2.0) aims to focus on topics that are relevant for the digital transformation of journalism and to address practical ideas that can be developed and implemented for Germany. The series is organized 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 seeks to explore

  • 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 monetization options that are open to journalism in a digitally revolutionized and pluralized 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 is scheduled to run until September 2023 and will culminate in an international conference in Berlin in November 2023, which will formulate recommendations based on both lecture series.

In this way, Scicon 2.0 is continuing a lecture series started in 2020, which aims to explore from an international perspective how quality journalism about science may look in the future.


Small Country – Big Press. What we can learn from our neighbour Luxemburg

Céline Flammang, Luc Caregari and Leonard Novy present the Luxemburg system of press sponsorship in a European context and discuss what might be transferable to Germany.

25 September 2023, 11.00 am CEST

Moderation: Anja Noster


Photo in the middle: © Mike Zenari

In a column in Altpapier of 18 July 2023, Christian Bartels asks what we can learn about media policy from our neighbours (“Medienpolitisch von Nachbarländern lernen?”). And Luxemburg is one of the countries cited in the column by media researcher Christopher Buschow as a shining example: measures like a minimum number of journalists employed on a permanent basis in editorial offices and all newspapers receiving annual funding as well as extra to support editorial positions. The result is a diverse media landscape: with a population of some 650,000, five daily newspapers alone are published in Luxemburg.


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.


Would you like to receive regular information about the conference? Register here.