Reading List EN

RL #010: Relatability

Communication succeeds when it creates relations.

I have little idea about mechanics and physics was one of my favorite school subjects only for a very short time . Whether I liked the subject always depended entirely on the teachers and how well they taught it. The other day I saw a Youtube video that was all about mechanics, about differential gears, precisely. And I thought it was great. 

With the video, it’s like the physics teachers of my school days: the right delivery can create enthusiasm for a subject. When enthusiasm or at least an increased interest in a topic is aroused, a relation is created. And that connection, that relation, is what science communication is all about. Your goal should be to create connections to science, that is, to communicate relatable.

Jan Baetens takes a look at relatability in a blog article on the Cultural Studies department’s blog of the University of Leuven. The blog, by the way, has the beautiful claim “Blogging since 1425.” “Something is narratable if it can be retold,” Baetens writes, “but that is only the first and oldest meaning of the word. Today, “narratable” also refers to works that someone (a reader, a listener, a viewer) can “identify with.”

This current concept of relatability is mostly encountered where fictional content is discussed. In a feuilletonistic context, the term was discussed in 2014 by Rebecca Mead in the New Yorker, quite critically. Mead believes that cultural audiences can be expected to make a connection to the content presented itself, and that criticizing something for not being relatable enough is not really a legitimate criticism of content.

For art and the criticism of it, this may be true. Science communication that is not relatable to the audience has missed its target, one could argue.

Science communication that is not relatable to the audience does not succeed in showing the relevance of a topic. It does not succeed in triggering in its recipients the feeling of being affected by the topic, of being closely related to it. Fortunately, the Internet offers plenty of tips on creating relatability. For example, from Joe Lazauskas on the platform Contently.

A similarly pragmatic and commercial approach to Relatability in communication (work) has an article by Ton Dobbe on his website Value Inspiration. Dobbe works as a “growth consultant for tech entrepreneurs”. For him, creating relatable content is about being more human. “A good start is to be more human in how we communicate with our ideal target audience. Like we’re having a conversation over a cup of coffee.” Is this the advice on conversational tone? And is it really helpful in science communication? Here and there, certainly.

Relatability is also ephemeral. At least that’s what Amil Niazi thinks about Ellen DeGeneres’ U.S. TV show in an opinion piece in the New York Times. The long-running, highly successful TV show is about to go off the air. Niazi sees a reason for the show’s waning popularity: “There’s no question, in the end, that Ms. DeGeneres has had an incredibly successful run as an effervescent daily TV presence for many Americans. But she also serves as a reminder that even the most relatable celebrities are still putting on an act, still trying to sell us on an image.” To be sure, the host has been very relatable to her audience. But a few public scandals have caused the relations to crack. Communication is always about credibility, too.

The video about differential gears from the beginning of this text illustrated to me in the simplest way what a differential gear is, when it is used, where it is installed, why it is important and how it works. What, when, where, why, and how are constantly at stake in science communication. Providing different audiences with the right answers to this question is what relatability is all about. The texts linked in this Reading List did that for me. They were relatable for me. I hope the readers of this Reading List feel the same way.

Thomas Stollenwerk

Reading List EN Uncategorized

RL #008: More tools, fewer boundaries – a look into the future of science communication

“Get a cup of tea, friends of the sun, make yourselves comfortable – time for science!” This is how the German YouTube channel Mailab advertises topics from the natural and social sciences. With success: Mailab had reached 1.3 million subscribers by June 2021. From the question of what Netflix knows about us and which facts about climate change are proven, to the effect of turmeric on the human organism: just like in science, no question is too small or too big, too complex or too simple for Mailab.

Witty, evidence-based, thought-provoking and precisely narrated, the channel is just one of many forward-looking examples of how science can have a broad and meaningful impact. How will science communication continue to develop? What trends and perspectives are emerging? In what direction can and should it go?

Social media as a non-stop academic conference

Let’s start with the most obvious: the possibilities that are and will be created by social media. In an article in Nature, science communicator Jens Foell describes it this way: “Social media science communication is a nonstop academic conference for all”. The thesis: science communication in social media today fulfils all the functions of classic academic conferences. They provide a framework for rapid communication and exchange, are important hubs for social interaction, often creating lifelong friendships and professional collaborations among researchers, and serve science journalists to learn about the latest developments and report on them to the general public. Today, researchers post lab equipment on Instagram, method tutorials on YouTube, comments on Twitter. They answer questions on ResearchGate and summarise their results on TikTok. The entire spectrum of personal and professional scientific exchange that otherwise takes place at academic conferences has developed online, says Foell. With one striking difference: the public, traditionally excluded from scientific conferences, listens, reads and watches along. And not only that: since social media are designed to enable interaction, many of the listeners comment and ask questions.

Evaluate, compare, generate your own content

For those who want to get closer to the matter in a scientifically sound way: In the current issue of the Journal of Science Communication (Volume 20, 2021), communication researcher Monika Taddicken and social psychologist Nicole Krämer explore the question of how lay people engage with scientific information via online media. In their paper “Public online engagement with science information: on the road to a theoretical framework and a future research agenda” they describe how internet technologies and social media in particular have drastically changed science communication. The public no longer just consumes science-related information, but actively participates (e.g. through evaluation and dissemination) and generates its own content. At the same time, scientists are no longer dependent on journalists as gatekeepers for the dissemination of relevant information. The paper reflects on relevant theoretical strands, and discusses a new knowledge order and actors. One person who sees video as the most important visual communication medium of the future is the US agricultural researcher Eric B. Brennan.  His article “Why Should Scientists be on YouTube? It’s all About Bamboo, Oil and Ice Cream” offers answers to practical questions and a reflection on why it pays for researchers to train as videographers – among other things, to improve their own communication skills and reduce misinformation. Becoming a scientific DIY-YouTuber can, from this perspective, be a fun, creative, rewarding and fulfilling activity that can also enhance many aspects of a scientist’s career.

On burning houses and working close to people: new values and forms of dialogue

What is also evident in many of the YouTube videos is the increasing social embeddedness of knowledge production and its mediation. In her recently published book, Getting to the Heart of Science Communication: A Guide to Effective Engagement climate researcher Faith Kearns tells a dicey story in two senses: At a community firefighters’ day in a northern Californian city, the author gave a talk on building fire-safe houses that can withstand the increasingly frequent forest fires. She was confronted by an audience member whose house had recently burned down. Like Kearns, scientists working on controversial issues – from climate change to drought to COVID-19 – increasingly find themselves in the midst of deeply traumatising or polarising conflicts. They need to be experts not only in their field, but also in dealing with the thoughts, feelings and opinions of the public they are dealing with. Their tools for communication: listening, working with conflict and understanding trauma, loss and healing. She concludes the book with a discussion of diversity, equality and inclusion in science communication.

A look at the past helps to develop perspectives for the future: in his contribution “Science as Instruction” the Austrian biologist and social scientist Franz Seifert explores the question of what changes the understanding of science communication has undergone in recent decades. He traces the arc from the influential “Bodmer Report” (“The Public Understanding of Science”), published by the venerable Royal Society in the mid-1980s in Great Britain, which for the first time declared the decline of scientific authority lamented by the research elites to be a socio-political problem, to the deficit model – people not knowing enough in the sense of lacking information – to the metaphor of “dialogue at eye level”, which in the 2000s brought with it new rules of etiquette for science: Namely, to put aside know-it-all attitude and arrogance of superiority and not only to speak honestly, but also to listen honestly. Conclusion: A lack of information is not the problem; it will be more a matter of strengthening the ability to reflect and judge.

In the future, science communicators will have to do much more than inform, advise and market. For the new challenges, a supportive institutional environment is needed – or, as the German think tank #FactoryWisskomm puts it, a supportive institutional environment.

Over the last few months, 150 participants have been working on how to build this culture and have developed new ideas and tools. The recommendations will be presented to the public on 23 June 2021. The event from the Sauriersaal of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin will be livestreamed.

From our projects

A key message from the ArcheoDanube project, in which Oikoplus is involved together with the Sustainication e.V. association, is to integrate local people in the development of archaeological sites. After a successful conference with participants from 12 countries, the project’s innovative approaches are now being implemented. More information and an overview of the participating archaeological sites can be found in the current project newsletter.

In the SYNCITY project, the toolbox “Transform – Urban Governance in Action“ with many hands-On ideas and inspiration for participatory and sustainable urban regeneration is now ready. We managed the production process, did editorial work and contributed texts and visuals. Find out more about the publication here.  

On 21 June, in cooperation with Oikodrom – The Vienna Institute for Urban Sustainability, we are organisin6g an Online Exchange Conference around the Toolbox. The detailed programme can be found here. We are looking forward to exchange and inspiration!

The Horizon 2020 project EnergyMEASURES, in which we help affected households to escape from ‘energy poverty’, also has news. On the project’s website and social media channels, which are managed by Oikoplus, we provide regular updates on the topic of energy consumption in the household. In interviews with experts, we explore ways to help households in Europe use energy more efficiently. News can be found at


Reading List EN Uncategorized

RL #007: Too complex vs. too banal – How to communicate science in an understandable way?

This issue of the Oikoplus Reading List is about how easy it is to communicate science. Unfortunately, the links are almost all in German. We promise that the next Reading List will be a bit more English again.

In the obituary of an arts & culture journalist, I once read that the recently deceased had the task of reviewing a philosophical work as a young author. At that time, his editor had read the finished review and said: “Wonderful. But please write it in a way that everyone understands these philosophical thoughts.” To which the young journalist is said to have replied, “I can do that. But then they are no longer philosophical thoughts.” A nice episode. For some, it illustrates the educational arrogance of young humanities scholars; for others, it sums up exactly what is so difficult about communicating complex content: Namely, that they cannot always be made understandable to everyone without trivializing them. This problem arises constantly, especially in science communication – but also in other areas.

Many journalists, copywriters and press workers are familiar with this problem. Striking a balance between technical complexity, factual appropriateness and readability is not easy. When it comes to conveying complex content, clear statements can be wonderfully hidden behind complex sentences and foreign words. And sometimes complex formulations are also used to disguise the fact that it is actually about platitudes – just in a scientific context. “And yet nothing is easier than to write in such a way that no one understands it; on the other hand, nothing is more difficult than to express important thoughts in such a way that everyone has to understand them,” German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said about writing and style.

Today, a century and a half later, a number of YouTube channels dedicated to communicating complex, scientific content show how this can succeed. The German magazine Forschung & Lehre has compiled some of the best German-language YouTube channels for science communication: “In a fact-based, entertaining and easy-to-understand way, various YouTubers successfully work through serious science topics for the general public.”

The fact that science is required to communicate its content in a comprehensible way is not a matter of course and, historically speaking, a rather recent phenomenon. It is only since the turn of the millennium that the public sphere of science has been increasingly discussed, writes Stefan Bauernschmidt in an article Zur Kartierung zentraler Begriffe in der Wissenschaftskommunikationswissenschaft. “This roughly parallels the large-scale shift from a Public Understanding of Science (PUS) to a Public Engagement in Science (PES). It is a socialization of science that goes hand in hand with the notion of Public Science . With this, reference is made to actively involving citizens in debates about controversial research and mechanization projects or even in the research process itself .” Communicating science then becomes a task relevant to democracy.

The relationship between democracy and science is described by Michael Hagner, professor of science studies at ETH Zurich, as “complementary” in a (German language) article for Forschung & Lehre. “Much will be gained for the relationship between science and democracy if the realization prevails in the sciences that there is not only esoteric and exoteric communication, but that there are also different roles in public communication. If you want to know more about esoteric and exoteric science communication, you can find the article here.

For those who prefer a more practical approach, an article from National Geographic may provide some inspiration for adding humor to science communication. It reports on a study that shows that jokes in American late-night shows can certainly help spread knowledge about topics such as the effects of vaccinations or climate change. However, even the best jokes can’t unravel the complexity of science. “Science is complex. Getting that across in a few minutes while cracking jokes can be a challenge. At its best, satire encourages viewers not only to engage with scientific issues, but also to think critically about them.”

In order for as many interested people as possible to be able to deal with science at all, science does not have to be stripped of its complexity. However, the language used to talk about science can be made as less complex as possible. The Netzwerk Leichte Sprache addresses this issue and has created a useful collection of rules for easy language.

Reading List EN

RL #006: Can we Make this Measurable? The Impact of Social Science Research

Research is funded when it is socially relevant. This is the zeitgeist. Even before the first calls for research funding in the context of the EU’s HorizonEurope framework programme were published, it is clear that the research projects put forward by scientists had to be effective. The research funded by the EU should have social and economic impact and be scientifically excellent. The egg-laying woolly-milk-sow.

The contributions in this Reading List deal with how qualitative social science methods become demonstrably effective. Because they are interested in depth and not width, it is for them particularly difficult to quantify results and impact. 

Impact initially denotes a push or impulse. The focus, however, goes with the consequence of the impulse that occurs during social science research and has become part of the self-understanding in the field. Thus, the editors of the SOWI Impact Blog at the University of Vienna argue that social science research not only produces knowledge about society, but above all for and with society. Participatory methods, research at eye level and reflexivity are frequently used keywords in the community. On the SOWI Impact Blog, you will find several best practice examples that demonstrate impact without focusing on immediate measurability.

Measuring what Happens: Interaction and Encounter

Contrary to the approach of the University of Vienna, Wiljan van den Acker and Jack Sapper focus on the measurability of social impact for social science research.  In Productive Interactions: Societal Impact of Academic Research in the Knowledge Society, the authors argue that impact is the result of dynamic and open network processes with engagement. With the openness of the networks, they reject the linear effectiveness known from economics, but suggest counting meetings and their participants as a proxy for network nodes. Is this the final answer, though?

Twelve Paths to Impact

Counting meetings and interactions to illustrate the impact of research does not convince Reetta Muhonen and her colleagues. In the recently published paper “From Productive Interactions to Impact Pathways”, the authors therefore develop twelve typologies of impact pathways, which emphasise the prerequisites for and the nature of the interactions in a way the impact itself has a goal. The interaction becomes the starting point, the social added value the goal. New production processes, behavioural change or lines of argumentation are goals that, moreover, are not achieved only at the end of the research. Realising that impact is concrete and purposeful helps in writing research proposals and formulating intended (intermediate) outcomes.

Indicators of Effectiveness? Phu…

More applied, Elena Louder and her colleagues ask which indicators make sense for measuring impact in the social sciences. In their blogpost published on the Impact Blog of the London School of Economics, the authors give four principles for choosing frameworks and indicators to determine the impact of social science research: the relevance of change in the research context, the temporal dimension and nature of impact during research, the capacity to accommodate unexpected effects of research, and the level of detail of perceived impact. These and other aspects should certainly feature your chapters on expected impact and measures to increase impact.

Impact yes – but not at any price!

Ultimately, however, there are also a whole range of reasons not to bother with the topic at all. Mary K. Gugerty and Dean Karlan on the Open Access Blog of Northwestern University argue that most (social innovation) projects lack tools and resources to adequatly assess their impact. A rather fatalistic approach that challenges the meaning and benefit of immediate impact in social innovation projects. What may we learn from this contribution? Do not underestimate time and effort needed to conduct an appropriate assessment of your projects’ impact!

From our projects

In the ArcheoDanube project, in which Oikoplus is involved together with the Sustainication e.V. association, we are currently working on recommendations for the design of archaeological parks. More information here.

In the SYNCITY project, our Urban Innovation Toolbox goes into production. You can find more information about the project on our project website and the Cureghem Tales.

In the EnergyMEASURES project, the pandemic-related obstacles to contacting households have been overcome. Partners started to collect data and communication work has gained momentum. Read more about the project here.

Reading List EN

RL #005: Science Fiction, Ficta, Science-in-Fiction: Nützt Fiktionalisierung der Wissenschaftskommunikation?

Kann Fiktionalisierung helfen, Wissenschaft zu kommunizieren? Um die Antwort, die wir hier liefern, abzukürzen: Ja, Fiktionalisierung kann der Wissenschaft dabei helfen, ihre Inhalte und Ergebnisse der Gesellschaft zu kommunizieren. Allerdings ist es nicht ganz einfach, Fiktion dazu sinnvoll einzusetzen.

Dabei hat die Fiktionalisierung eigentlich ihren festen Platz in der Wissenschaft. Als Beispiel, zum Beispiel. Das Höhlengleichnis, Schrödingers Katze, Newtons Apfel – alles Fiktionalisierungen wissenschaftlichen Denkens. Beispiele helfen zu verstehen – indem sie Abstraktes konkret machen und Theoretisches praktisch. Ein gut gewähltes Beispiel, das eine komplexe wissenschaftliche Theorie auflockert, hilft, das Verständnis zu erhöhen. Und es bestätigt die Lesenden in ihrem Textverständnis. Oder auch nicht. Jedenfalls helfen Beispiele, Wissenschaft verständlich zu machen. Und damit dienen sie der Wissenschaftskommunikation.

Wieso betreibt man noch einmal Wissenschaftskommunikation? Die Gründe, Wissenschaftskommunikation zu betreiben, hat der Neurowissenschaftler David M. Eagleman vor Jahren in einem Manifest zusammengetragen. Sechs Gründe identifiziert Eagleman. Die Öffentlichkeit durch spannende, wissenschaftsnahe Fiktion zu unterhalten, ist nicht darunter. Und trotzdem kann Fiktion helfen, ein breites Publikum für Wissenschaft zu begeistern.

Die Meeresbiologin Antje Boetius ist davon überzeugt. Im oft sehr hörenswerten (deutschsprachigen) Podcast „Das Interview” des Berliner Journalisten Philip Banse erklärte sie im Januar, welche Bedeutung fiktionale Unterhaltungsliteratur für die Kommunikation von Wissenschaft haben kann. Ganz konkret machte sie das für ihr Fachgebiet, die Gashydrate der Tiefsee, am Beispiel des Weltbestsellers „Der Schwarm“ des deutschen Autors Frank Schätzing von 2004 deutlich: „Ich weiß gar nicht, ob es überhaupt jemals einen zweiten Bestseller gegeben hat, der die Menschen so mit den Prinzipien des Ozeans und der Gashydrate vertraut gemacht hat. Natürlich war darin viel Action und Romanhaftes. Aber Frank Schätzing, den ich gut kenne, hat unheimlich viel Arbeit in Recherche gesteckt und viele kleine Geschichten, die wahr sind, also Ozeanprozesse, zusammengeknüpft. Dabei entstand natürlich auch Unwahres, zum Beispiel, dass es intelligente, schleimige, blau leuchtende Einzeller gibt, die die Welt regieren und die Wale dazu bringen können, Menschen niederzumachen. Aber nichtsdestotrotz sind viele Einzelbeobachtungen echt. Was der Roman erzeugt hat, war ein breites Verständnis von Gashydraten im Ozean. Das hat ja sogar wirklich dazu geführt, dass Menschen vor der Tsunamiwelle damals in Südostasien gerettet wurden, weil sie den Roman gelesen hatten und wussten, wie es aussieht, wenn ein Tsunami kommt. Das ist einfach grandios. Ich würde als Wissenschaftlerin nie auf fiktive Literatur oder Filme herabblicken, sondern im Gegenteil: Uns Wissenschaftlern fällt es ja oft wirklich schwer, ein Breitenwissen zu erzeugen. So ein Abenteuerroman – wenn er sich Mühe gibt und die Fakten gut zusammenbaut – kann das erzeugen.”

Science Fiction

Wer sich der Frage nach dem Verhältnis von Gesellschaft, Wissenschat und Fiktion einmal grundlegender annähern möchte, dem sei ein Text von Jan Arendt Fuhse empfohlen, der sich mit Science Fiction als Kritische Theorie beschäftigt.


Im Jahr 2006 hat der dänische Biologe, Soziokybernetiker und Cybersemiotiker Søren Brier ausführlich mit dem Einsatz von Fiktionalisierung in der populären Wissenschaftskommunikation als Antwort auf die sich verändernden Anforderungen an die Wissenschaftskommunikation in den Massenmedien beschäftigt. Er untersuchte fiktionale Literatur mit wissenschaftlichem Kern anhand des Romans Jurassic Park von Michael Crichton und prägte gleich einen eigenen Begriff für populäre Literatur, in der es um Wissenschaft geht: Ficta. Der Begriff hat sich allerdings nicht wirklich durchgesetzt.

In dieses Genre fallen könnte auch die Crime-Serie CSI in der es um die Arbeit von Tatort-Forensikern geht. Mit den Auswirkungen der Rezeption der Darstellung von Forensik in der Serie auf die Rezeption des wissenschaftlichen Fachs der Forensik beschäftigten sich die Psychologen Michael Saks und Nickolas Schweizer: Sie stellten fest: Populäre Fiktion über die forensische Wissenschaft beeinflusst die Erwartungen der Öffentlichkeit an die reale forensische Wissenschaft. Diesen Zusammenhang benannten sie als CSI-Effekt. 


Nun sind Der Schwarm, Jurassic Park, CSI und viele andere Werke der klassischen Science Fiction keine Formate der Wissenschaftskommunikation, die sich der unterhaltsamen Fiktionalisierung bedienen, sondern unterhaltsame Fiktionen, die sich wissenschaftlicher Motive bedienen. Es gibt jedoch auch Fiktionen, die ganz gezielt auf die Vermittlung von Wissenschaft zielen. Carl Djerassi war hochdekorierter Chemiker, bevor er zum Romanautor wurde. Seinen Weg vom Wissenschaftler zum Romancier und den Unterschied zwischen Science Fiktion und Science-in-Fiction beschreibt er auf dem auf „Ich beschloß etwas zu unternehmen, um einem breiteren Publikum die Kultur der Naturwissenschaften nahezubringen, und zwar mit einem Genre dem ich kurze Zeit später den Namen Science-in-Fiction gab. Für mich fällt ein literarischer Text nur dann in dieses Genre, wenn die darin beschriebenen Vorgänge allesamt plausibel sind.

Für die Science-Fiction gelten diese Einschränkungen nicht. Damit will ich keinesfalls andeuten, daß die naturwissenschaftlichen Fantasieprodukte in der Science-Fiction unangebracht wären. Aber, wenn man die freie Erfindung wirklich dazu nutzen will, um einer wissenschaftlich unbeleckten Öffentlichkeit unbemerkt wissenschaftliche Fakten zu Bewußtsein zu bringen – eine Art Schmuggel, den ich intellektuell und gesellschaftlich für nützlich halte – dann ist es ausschlaggebend, die zugrundeliegenden wissenschaftlichen Fakten exakt wiederzugeben.“

Um ganz bewusst erzeugte Begegnungen zwischen Wissenschaft und Fiktion bemüht sich auch das Projekt „Fiction meets Science“ von Volkswagen-Stiftung, Universität Bremen, Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg und Universität Oldenburg. Und auch ein Blick ins Archiv des jährlichen Berliner Digitalfestivals re:publica lohnt sich, wenn es darum geht die Grenzen Zwischen Wissenschaft und Fiktion, zwischen verschiedenen Wahrnehmungsformen auszuloten. Im Jahr 2017 sprachen Joachim Haupt und Wenzel Mehnert von der Universität der Bildenden Künste Berlin über Business Science – Fictionalized. Der Vortrag ist bei Youtube zu sehen.

Reading List EN

RL #005: Science Fiction, Ficta, Science-in-Fiction: Does Fictionalization Benefit Science Communication?

Can fictionalization help communicate science? To abbreviate the answer we provide here: Yes, fictionalization can help science communicate its content and results to society. However, using fiction to do so in a meaningful way is not straightforward.

Fictionalization actually has a firm place in science: the example. The Allegory of the Cave, Schrödinger’s cat, Newton’s apple – they’re all fictionalizations of scientific thinking. Examples help to understand – by making abstract things concrete and theoretical things practical. A well-chosen example that breaks down a complex scientific theory helps increase understanding. And it confirms the reader’s understanding of the text. Or not. In any case, examples help to make science understandable. And thus they serve science communication.

Why do science communication again? David M. Eagleman, a neuroscientist, compiled the reasons to do science communication in a manifesto years ago. Six reasons Eagleman identifies. Entertaining the public through exciting, science-related fiction is not one of them. And yet fiction can help get a broad audience excited about science.

Antje Boetius, a marine biologist, is convinced of this. In January, in the often very listenable (German-language) podcast “Das Interview” by Philip Banse, a Berlin based journalist, she explained the importance that fictional entertainment literature can have for communicating science. In concrete terms, she made this clear for her field of expertise, the gas hydrates of the deep sea, using the example of the 2004 global bestseller “The Swarm” by German author Frank Schätzing: “I don’t even know if there has ever been a second bestseller that has familiarized people with the principles of the ocean and gas hydrates in such a way. Of course, there was a lot of action and novelistic stuff in it. But Frank Schätzing, whom I know well, put an incredible amount of work into research and tied together many little stories that were true, that is, ocean processes. In the process, of course, some untruths emerged, for example, that there are intelligent, slimy, blue-glowing single-celled creatures that rule the world and can get whales to mow people down. But nonetheless, many individual observations are genuine. What the novel generated was a broad understanding of gas hydrates in the ocean. In fact, that really led to people being saved from the tsunami wave back in Southeast Asia because they had read the novel and knew what it looked like when a tsunami came. That’s just terrific. As a scientist, I would never look down on fictional literature or films; on the contrary, we scientists often find it really difficult to generate broad knowledge. An adventure novel like this – if it makes an effort and assembles the facts well – can generate that.” [Translated from German by the author.]

Science Fiction

For those who would like to approach the question of the relationship between society, science and fiction in a more fundamental way, we recommend a text by Jan Arendt Fuhse, which deals with science fiction as critical theory. [German]


In 2006, Søren Brier, a Danish biologist, sociocyberneticist, and cybersemiotician, extensively explored the use of fictionalization in popular science communication as a response to the changing demands of science communication in the mass media. He examined fictional literature with a scientific core using Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park as an example, and immediately coined his own term for popular literature that is about science: ficta. However, the term has not really caught on.

The crime series CSI, which is about the work of crime scene forensics, could also fall into this genre. Michael Saks and Nickolas Schweizer, both psychologists, studied the effects of the reception of the portrayal of forensic science in the series on the reception of the scientific subject of forensic science: They found that popular fiction about forensic science influences the public’s expectations of real forensic science. They named this relationship the CSI effect. 


Now, The Swarm, Jurassic Park, CSI, and many other works of classic science fiction are not formats of science communication that use entertaining fictionalization, but entertaining fictions that use scientific motifs. However, there are also fictions that quite specifically aim to communicate science. Carl Djerassi was a highly decorated chemist before he became a novelist. He describes his path from scientist to novelist and the difference between science fiction and science-in-fiction on “I decided to do something to bring the culture of science to a broader audience, with a genre that I soon named science-in-fiction. For me, a literary text only falls into this genre if the processes described in it are all plausible. These restrictions do not apply to science fiction. In saying this, I am in no way suggesting that scientific fantasy products are inappropriate in science fiction. But, if free invention is really to be used to bring unnoticed scientific facts to the attention of a scientifically unsophisticated public – a kind of smuggling that I consider intellectually and socially useful – then it is crucial to accurately reflect the underlying scientific facts.” [Translated from German by the author.]

The project “Fiction meets Science” by the Volkswagen Foundation, the University of Bremen, the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, and the University of Oldenburg also strives to deliberately create encounters between science and fiction. And it is also worth taking a look at the archives of the annual Berlin digital festival re:publica when it comes to exploring the boundaries between science and fiction, between different forms of perception. In 2017, Joachim Haupt and Wenzel Mehnert from the University of Fine Arts Berlin spoke about Business Science – Fictionalized. The lecture can be seen on Youtube.

Reading List EN

RL #004: Mehr Klarheit in Sachen Wahrheit – eine Gedankenreise durch das Labyrinth von Fakten, Wissen, Meinungen, Fake und Bullshit.

Die Wahrheit hat zur Zeit nicht den besten Ruf. Gibt es überhaupt Wahrheit in der Wissenschaft? Wie wahr kann evidenzbasierte Politik sein? Und was ist Wahrheit überhaupt? 

Hinter dieser Reading List steckt meine eigene Sehnsucht nach Wahrheit in Wissenschaft UND Politik. Als Wissenschaftlerin, Expertin für Kommunikation und Filmemacherin nehme ich euch ein Stück weit mit auf meine eigene Suche.  

Anregende Lektüre wünscht Ina Ivanceanu, CEO Oikoplus

So verlockend es auch ist, diese Reise beginnt weder mit Corona noch mit Trump. Sondern mit einem der ausnahmslos guten Sammelbände, die die deutsche Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung herausgibt. Das kluge Bändchen ist schlicht mit „Wahrheit“ betitelt (2017) – sieben Texte zu den Zusammenhängen von Erfahrung, Wirklichkeit, Wissen und Glaubwürdigkeit. Da schreibt der Soziologe Peter Weingart über einen Konsens in der Wissenschaft: nämlich dass es sich auch bei „Wahr­heit” im Sinne wissenschaftlich gesicherter Fakten um soziale „Konstruktionen“ handelt. Die Wissensproduktion bleibt immer ein unabgeschlossener Prozess, der von Widerspruch, Interaktion, Diskurs, Verhandlung und Konsensbildung lebt. Also alles eine Frage der Interpretation? Sind Fakten beliebig veränderbar, relativ und deshalb nicht bin­dend oder handlungsrelevant? Keineswegs, anhand der Diskussion über den menschlichen Anteil am Klimawandel zeigt der Autor, dass Meinungen nicht gegen Forschungsergebnisse ausgespielt werden können – sie finden an diesen ihre Grenze.

Zurück in der Zeit und doch hochaktuell: die Gedanken der politischen Theoretikerin und Publizistin Hannah Arendt über die Ohnmacht und Kraft der Wahrheit. In ihren Essays „Die Lüge in der Politik” und „Politik und Wahrheit“ (auf deutsch 1969 erstmals erschienen) stellte sie fest: Über das, was wahr ist, kann nicht die Politik bestimmen, die dazu neige, mit der Wahrheit „auf Kriegsfuß“ zu stehen. Umgekehrt verteidigte Arendt die Politik, deren Praxis Menschen die einzige Möglichkeit eröffne, „die Welt zu verändern.“
Eine aktuelle Taschenbuchausgabe ist im Piper Verlag erhältlich, eine spannende Aufbereitung von Judith Zinsmaier gibt es dazu im Philosophie-Blog „“. 

Wie weit kann die Wissenschaft in einem Ausnahmezustand wie der Pandemie über politische Entscheidungsfindung bestimmen? In seinem Artikel „Lessons from an unfolding emergency“ vom Mai 2020 fragt der tschechische Autor Jiří Přibáň: Was passiert, wenn die Grenzen zwischen öffentlicher Meinung – die in völliger Ungewissheit feststeckt, und evidenzbasiertem Wissen – das bitte den richtigen Weg aufzeigen soll, verschwimmen? Während wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse niemals definitiv sind, ist eine politische Entscheidung irreversibel und kann unabsehbare Folgen haben. Die ruhige Stimme der Wissenschaft, so Přibáň, müsse paradoxerweise im Pathos politischer Überzeugung auftreten, wenn es darum geht, die Öffentlichkeit vom Sinn bestimmter Maßnahmen zu überzeugen. 

Das Online-Portal Eurozine, das Přibáňs Text veröffentlichte, ist aktuell eines der spannendsten Medienprojekte: Ein Netzwerk von über neunzig europäischen „Cultural Journals” von Portugal bis Russland, von Schweden bis Griechenland, das die besten Artikel aller Medienpartner*innen in Themenschwerpunkten kuratiert und übersetzt. Hier etwa der Link zum Schwerpunkt „Information: A public good mit 23 Artikeln dazu. Eine anregende und hochqualitative Sammlung. 

Wissenschaft und Politik scheinen in der Pandemie oft zu verschmelzen. Teile der Bevölkerung betrachten dieses Amalgam als Figur einer Elite, die die Unmündigkeit des Bürgers ausnutzen möchte. Was aber unterscheidet Wissenschaft und Politik? Mitja Sienknecht und Antje Vetterlein vom Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin beziehen sich in ihrem Artikel „Wissenschaftliche Wahrheit und politische Verantwortung” auf Niklas Luhmann: Politik trifft kollektiv verbindliche Entscheidungen und übernimmt politische Verantwortung. Wissenschaft gewinnt Erkenntnisse und strebt – immer weiter – nach Wahrheit. Im Politiksystem ist die Kommunikation entlang der Unterscheidung zwischen Macht/Ohnmacht bzw. Regierung/Opposition strukturiert. Der zentrale Code im Wissenschaftssystem ist dagegen Wahrheit/Unwahrheit, der in der Politik normalerweise keine dominante Rolle spielt, hier ist sich Luhmann mit Arendt einig. Politik und Wissenschaft sieht er als zwei unabhängige Systeme, die in Austausch treten – etwa in Form von wissenschaftlicher Beratung, auf deren Grundlage politische Entscheidungen getroffen werden. Die Situation der Pandemie erschwert diese Verbindung, schreiben die Autorinnen: „Während zum einen die Politik jetzt dringender denn je auf die Fachkenntnisse der Wissenschaft angewiesen ist (…), ist die Wissenschaft weit davon entfernt, abschließende Daten präsentieren zu können, wie die umstrittenen unterschiedlichen Ergebnisse von Studien zur Corona-Infektions-Rate von Kindern zeigen.“ Die Revision einer Position sei in der Wissenschaft gerade kein Ausdruck von Schwäche, sondern ihr Alltagsgeschäft. Doch worauf kommt es an in Zeiten der Pandemie? Auf den Umgang der Politik mit Verteilungs- und Wertekonflikten, so die Autorinnen: „Politische Verantwortung heißt, sich nicht hinter der Wissenschaft zu verstecken, sondern vielmehr sich diesen unbequemen Fragen zu stellen – sprich: Politik zu machen.“

Wie soll Politik im Sinne der Wahrheit NICHT gemacht werden? Dazu zwei Text-Perlen: 

1. Das legendäre Büchlein „Bullshit“ (Suhrkamp 2014) des emeritierten Oxforder Professors Harry G. Frankfurt: zornig-coole Streitschrift und philosophischer Bestseller, auch in den USA. Der analytische Philosoph erhebt den Kraftausdruck zum gewichtigen erkenntnistheoretischen Fachbegriff: „Bullshitting“ als hochgefährliches Gerede, bei dem es dem Sprecher egal ist, ob seine Aussagen stimmen. Ein unverzichtbares Grundlagenwerk der angewandten Dummheitsforschung. 

2. Die New York Times analysierte Ende Januar akribisch die 77 Tage von Donald Trumps „Election Lie“ und deckte auf, wieviel Planung und Strategie dahinter stand: Augen öffnend. 

Diese kleine Lesereise endet mit einer künstlerischen Empfehlung, nämlich für das Online-Programm „True Fake“. Es präsentiert Filme, die das Verhältnis zwischen Wahrheit und Fiktion, Kunst und Wissenschaft erforschen, und die naive Vorstellung objektiver Wahrheit in Frage stellen. Ein wechselndes Programm der ebenso renommierten wie aufregenden künstlerischen Plattform E-Flux, das vom eigenen E-Journal begleitet wird. Die Filme sind von 9.2. bis 20.4. zu sehen, darunter das neue Projekt meiner vielfach preisgekrönten Filmfreundin Manu Luksch: ALGO-RHYTHM, ein Hip-Hop-Musical gegen automatisierte Propaganda, featuring Gunman Xuman, Lady Zee, OMG. Don’t miss!

Aus unseren Projekten

Im Projekt ArcheoDanube, an dem Oikoplus gemeinsam mit dem Verein Sustainication e.V. beteiligt ist, ist die Grundlagenstudie über Kulturerbe und Kulturtourismus jetzt abgeschlossen. Aktuell arbeiten wir an der Erstellung eines Leitfadens für die Gestaltung lokaler Archäologischer Parks. Mehr Infos hier

Im Projekt SYNCITY gibt es neue Cureghem Tales, besondere Empfehlung für den Februar: Madame Zouma und ihr Ingwersaft. Und es geht in den Endspurt für die Texte der Urban Innovation Toolbox: Hands-On Ideen und Inspiration für partizipative und nachhaltige Stadterneuerung, ab Mai erhältlich. 

Und das Horizon 2020 Projekt EnergyMEASURES stellt die Frage: welche einfachen und preiswerten Strategien können Haushalten helfen, die von Energiearmut betroffen sind? Leider erschwert die Pandemie es aktuell, mit den betroffenen Haushalten wie geplant direkt zusammenzuarbeiten. 
Neuigkeiten finden sich unter

Reading List EN

RL #004: More clarity in matters of truth – a journey of thought through the labyrinth of facts, knowledge, opinions, fake and bullshit.

Truth does not have the best reputation at the moment. Is there any truth in science at all? How true can evidence-based policy be? And what is truth anyway? 

Behind this Reading List lies my own longing for truth in science AND politics. As a scientist, communication expert and filmmaker, I take you along on my own quest.  

I wish you inspiring reading,
Ina Ivanceanu, CEO Oikoplus

Tempting as it is, this begins neither with Corona nor with Trump, but with one of the invariably good anthologies published by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education. The clever little volume is simply titled “Truth” (2017) – seven texts on the connections between experience, reality, knowledge and credibility. Sociologist Peter Weingart writes about a consensus in science: namely that “truth” in the sense of scientifically proven facts is also a matter of social “constructions”. Knowledge production always remains an incomplete process that lives from contradiction, interaction, discourse, negotiation and consensus building. So it is all a question of interpretation? Are facts arbitrarily changeable, relative and therefore not binding or relevant to action? Not at all. Using the discussion about the human contribution to climate change as an example, the author shows that opinions cannot be played off against research results – they find their limit at the latter. 
Back in time and yet highly topical: the thoughts of the political theorist and publicist Hannah Arendt on the impotence and power of truth. In her essays “The Lie in Politics” and “Politics and Truth” (first published in German in 1969), she stated that what is true cannot be determined by politics, which tends to be “at war” with truth. Conversely, Arendt defended politics, whose practice gave people the only opportunity to “change the world.” A current paperback edition is available from Piper Verlag, and there is an exciting treatment of it by Judith Zinsmaier on the philosophy blog ““. 

How far can science determine political decision-making in a state of emergency like the pandemic? In his May 2020 article “Lessons from an unfolding emergency”, Czech author Jiří Přibáň asks: What happens when the boundaries between public opinion – which is stuck in complete uncertainty, and evidence-based knowledge – which is supposed to please point the right way, become blurred? While scientific knowledge is never definitive, a political decision is irreversible and can have unforeseeable consequences. The calm voice of science, says Přibáň, paradoxically has to appear in the pathos of political conviction when it comes to convincing the public of the sense of certain measures. 

The online portal Eurozine, which published Přibáň’s text, is currently one of the most exciting media projects: A network of over ninety European “cultural journals” from Portugal to Russia, from Sweden to Greece, which curates and translates the best articles of all media partners in thematic focuses. Here, for example, is the link to the focus “Information: A public good” with 23 articles on it. A stimulating and high-quality collection. 
Science and politics often seem to merge in the pandemic. Sections of the population see this amalgam as the figure of an elite that wants to exploit the immaturity of the citizen. But what distinguishes science and politics? Mitja Sienknecht and Antje Vetterlein from the Social Science Research Center Berlin refer to Niklas Luhmann in their article “Scientific Truth and Political Responsibility”: Politics make collectively binding decisions and assume political responsibility. Science gains knowledge and strives – ever further – for truth. In the political system, communication is structured along the distinction between power/powerlessness or government/opposition. In contrast, the central code in the science system is truth/untruth, which normally does not play a dominant role in politics, here Luhmann agrees with Arendt. He sees politics and science as two independent systems that enter into exchange – for example in the form of scientific advice on the basis of which political decisions are made. The situation of the pandemic complicates this connection, the authors write: “While politics is now more urgently than ever dependent on the expertise of science (…), science is far from being able to present conclusive data, as the controversial different results of studies on the Corona infection rate of children show.” In science, the revision of a position is precisely not an expression of weakness, but its everyday business. But what is important in times of a pandemic? Political responsibility means not hiding behind science, but rather facing up to these uncomfortable questions – in other words: making politics.

How should politics NOT be made in the sense of truth? Here are two text gems: 

1. The legendary booklet “Bullshit” (Suhrkamp 2014 in German) by the emeritus Oxford professor Harry G. Frankfurt: an angry and cool philosophical bestseller, also in the USA. The analytical philosopher elevates the expletive to a weighty epistemological technical term: “bullshitting” as highly dangerous talk in which the speaker does not care whether his statements are true. An indispensable foundational work in applied stupidity research.

2. The New York Times meticulously analysed the 77 days of Donald Trump’s “Election Lie” at the end of January and revealed how much planning and strategy was behind it: Eye-opening. 

This little reading tour ends with an artistic recommendation, namely for the online programme “True Fake””: a seies of films that explore the relationship between truth and fiction, art and science, and question the naive notion of objective truth. A programme from the equally renowned and exciting artistic platform E-Flux, accompanied by its own e-journal. The films can be seen from 9.2 to 20.4 this year, including the new project by my multi-award-winning film friend Manu Luksch: ALGO-RHYTHM, a hip-hop musical against automated propaganda, featuring Gunman Xuman, Lady Zee, OMG. Don’t miss!

From our projects – at a glance 

In the ArcheoDanube project, in which Oikoplus is involved together with the Sustainication e.V. association, the basic study on cultural heritage and cultural tourism has now been completed. We are currently working on a guide for the design of local archaeological parks. News can be found here

In the SYNCITY project, there are new Cureghem Tales, with a special recommendation for the cold weather in February: Madame Zouma and her ginger juice. And we are in the final spurt for the texts of the Urban Innovation Toolbox: Hands-on ideas and inspiration for participatory and sustainable urban regeneration, available from May. 
And the Horizon 2020 project EnergyMEASURES focusses on simple and low-cost strategies to help households that experience energy poverty. Unfortunately, the pandemic is currently making it difficult to work directly with affected households as planned. News can be found at

Reading List EN

RL #003: Hören und gehört werden, Ideen austauschen und mitbestimmen: Digitale Partizipation leicht gemacht

Die Welt war schon vor Covid-19 vernetzt und verdichtet, und stellte in ihrer Komplexität schon zuvor das Herzstück unseres Gemeinwesens auf die Probe: die Demokratie. Wie genau es darum in- und außerhalb Europas beschaffen ist, berichtet jedes Jahr der Demokratie-Index der britischen Economist Intelligence Unit. Jetzt, wo die Pandemie die meisten Staaten fest in der Hand hat und Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung verhängt wurden, ist es möglich oder vielleicht sogar wahrscheinlich, dass weitere Restriktionen eintreten werden. In dieser Reading List teilen wir mit euch spannende Beiträge, Artikel und Projekte, die danach fragen, wie wir uns trotz Einschränkungen unserer Kontakte und physical distancing an gesellschaftlichen Fragestellungen beteiligen und diese mitbestimmen können, und welche Methoden der e-Partizipation uns darin unterstützen, den Dialog auf Augenhöhe aufrecht zu erhalten. 

Spannende How To’s rund um e-Partizipation bietet das Grünbuch des österreichischen Bundesministeriums für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst und Sport – ein fundierter Leitfaden für Partizipation im digitalen Zeitalter. Die Autor*innen heben die Bedeutung von Beteiligung und Transparenz für eine lebendige Demokratie hervor und sehen in digitalen Partizipations- und Kommunikationsformaten zeitgemäße Lösungsansätze. Sie argumentieren, dass der Einsatz von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien es ermöglicht, Beteiligungsprozesse einfacher zu gestalten und Beteiligungshemmnisse zu beseitigen. Bestimmte Zielgruppen können durch digitale Partizipationsformate besser erreicht und eingebunden werden als mit Hilfe analoger und präsenzbetonter Methoden. Wer kennt ihn nicht, den Monolog jener, die sich gerne reden hören und die Stille derer, die sich nicht trauen, ihre Meinung kundzutun? Hier schafft e-Partizipation auch auf diskursiver Ebene Abhilfe. 

Über Chancen und Herausforderungen eben solcher Initiativen informiert der Abschlussbericht zum Projekt ‚Offene Staatskunst – Bessere Politik durch Open Government«?‘. In dem von Google initiierten Co:llaboratory – ein Multistakeholder Think-Tank und Policy Labor – widmen sich Expert*innen aus Zivilgesellschaft, Wissenschaft und dem Unternehmensbereich der Frage, wie Konzepte der Offenen Staatskunst in die politische Kultur am Beispiel Deutschlands integriert werden können. Im Kapitel ‚eParticipation: Einmischen erwünscht!’ findet ihr zahlreiche Empfehlungen für e-Partizipationsprojekte – von der Konzeption bis zur Umsetzung. Ein Schmankerl für diejenigen, die es ganz genau wissen wollen: die Best Practice Sammlung mitsamt Analysen und Erfolgsfaktoren.

Welche konkreten Tools für e-Partizipation können wir in unseren eigenen (Arbeits-) Alltag einbringen? Involve, eine in Großbritannien basierte, gemeinnützige Organisation bietet auf ihrer Website Einführungen (auf Englisch) in zahlreiche digitale Tools und Partizipationsverfahren an: Crowd-mapping, interactive whiteboards, interactive Q&A’s, etc. 

Eine beinahe ebenso umfassende Einführung in das Universum der e-Partizipation bietet das Kleine 1×1 der digitalen Partizipation von Zebralog. Der Fokus liegt auf den zusätzlichen Kompetenzen die e-Partizipation von den Organisator*innen einfordern. Die Beteiligungs- und Partizipationspioniere aus Deutschland haben auf ihrer Website eine ganze Reihe an Methoden, Tools und Ideen gesammelt, damit ihr eure Videokonferenzen interaktiver und partizipativer gestalten könnt, führen aber auch aus, dass noch kein*e Meister*in vom Himmel gefallen ist. Es gilt: üben, üben, üben!

Einen neuen Werkzeugkoffer für digitale Beteiligung bietet außerdem nonconform – das Büro für Architektur und partizipative Raumentwicklung in- und außerhalb von Österreich. Die neue Plattform nonconform live transferiert ausgeklügelte Beteiligungsprozesse in den virtuellen Raum und verspricht dabei eine kreativ-produktive Atmosphäre.

Eine kreative Möglichkeit, wie e-Partizipation weitergedacht werden kann, bietet das Kunstprojekt #HotPhones von Nadja Buttendorf durch die Augen (oder besser die Tastatur) von Magdalena Götz von der Zeitschrift Kunst Medien Bildung. Die Künstlerin rückt digitale Medientechnologien und Formen der neu ermöglichten (oder verhinderten) Teilhabe in den Fokus; die Porträtistin untersucht ihrerseits mögliche Konsequenzen und Schlussfolgerungen des Diskurses um Postdigitalität für den Begriff der Teilhabe. Spannend und amüsant zugleich, doch mehr verraten wir nicht. Have a look yourself!

Reading List EN

RL #003: Hear and being heard, exchange ideas and have a say: Digital participation made easy

Even before Covid-19 the world we live in was a connected and condensed one. Complex and diverse as it was, it had already put the heart of our community, namely democracy, to the test. To what extent democracy has been affected in and outside of Europe can be read in the yearly reported Democracy Index of the British Economist Intelligence Unit. But now that the pandemic is firmly in control of most states and containment measures have been imposed, the assumption that further deterioration will occur is not far-fetched. In this Reading List we share exciting contributions, articles and projects with you that ask how we can participate in social issues despite contact bans and physical distancing, and which methods of e-participation help us to maintain a dialogue on equal footage.

The Green Paper of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Art, Culture, Public Service and Sport – a well-founded guide for participation in the digital age – offers an introduction that is well worth reading, including exciting how-tos about e-participation. The authors emphasise the importance of participation and transparency for a living democracy and conceive digital participation and communication formats as a contemporary solution approach. They argue that the use of information and communication technologies makes it possible to design participation processes more easily and to remove barriers to participation. Some target groups can better be reached and integrated through digital participation formats as opposed to of analog and presence-oriented methods: who does not know the monologue of those who like to hear themselves talking and the silent ones among these who do not dare to express their opinion. Here, e-participation also provides a remedy on a discursive level.

The final report on the project “Open statecraft – better politics through open government”? provides information on the opportunities and challenges of such initiatives. In the Co:llaboratory – a multi-stakeholder think tank and policy laboratory – initiated by Google, experts from civil society, science and corporate sector are devoting themselves to the question of how concepts of open statecraft can be integrated into political culture using Germany as an example. In the chapter ‘eParticipation: Get involved! ’You will find numerous recommendations for e-participation projects – starting with the conception through to implementation. And for those who want to know exactly: the best practice collection including analyses and success factors!

Apart from all the potential (and risks) associated with digital participation formats, we would like to show you very specific and practical tools on how you can bring e-participation into your everyday (work) life. Involve, a UK-based, non-profit organization, for example, offers introductions to numerous synchronous and asynchronous digital tools and participation processes on their website: crowd mapping, interactive whiteboards, interactive Q & A’s, etc.

An almost equally comprehensive introduction to the universe of e-participation is offered by the small 1×1 of digital participation by Zebralog. However, the focus is on the additional competencies that e-participation demands from its organisers. The participation pioneers from Germany have collected a whole range of methods, tools and ideas on their website so that you can design your video conferences more interactively. But they also state that no master has fallen from heaven. The rule is: practice, practice, practice! Furthermore, a new tool case for digital participation is also offered by nonconform – the office for architecture and participatory spatial development inside and outside of Austria.The new platform nonconform live transfers sophisticated participation processes into the virtual space and guarantees a creative as well as productive atmosphere.

The art project #HotPhones by Nadja Buttendorf through the eyes (or better, the keyboard) by Magdalena Götz from the magazine Kunst Medien Bildung represents a creative way of how e-participation can be further spun out. The artist focuses on digital media technologies and forms of newly enabled (or prevented) participation; the portraitist, for her part, examines possible consequences and conclusions of the discourse about post-digitality for the concept of participation. Exciting and amusing at the same time, but we won’t reveal more. Have a look yourself!