Universiteit Leiden

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Institute of Biology Leiden

Science Communication and Society

The research group Science Communication and Society has been physically within the Institute of Biology (IBL) since 2012 and will become a formal part of the institute in 2018. The mission of this group is understanding how science communication works to improve the interaction between science and society.

Our research themes are:

  1. Authenticity in informal learning. In collaboration with Naturalis and Museon we study how visitors experience the difference between real objects and replicas. We also study participants in citizen science projects: what do people learn from such projects and what is their motivation to contribute to science?
  2. Bridging the gap between experts and the general public. Sample projects are: analyzing how health research is portrayed in the media and developing evidence-based communication materials about antibiotics and biodiversity. 

Both of these themes are linked closely to biology. We do our research within interdisciplinary collaborations, such as the theme Scientific knowledge as a source of renewing riches within the Dutch National Research Agenda and Zwaartekracht program NETWORKS. 

Our master specialisation is open to students of the entire science faculty and biomedical sciences. The majority of our students comes from a biological background and being within IBL offers them great opportunities for internships and research projects.

We believe better science communication can emancipate our society, especially disadvantaged groups, which will contribute to the optimal functioning of humans, as part of the mission of IBL.