Science policy session at ESOF2020 – Science Communication in Times of Crisis

At ESOF2020 EuroScience Science Policy Working Group will host a panel discussion to explore common pitfalls in science communication using the current COVID-19 pandemic as an example. The session will be held on Thursday 3 September 2020 from 16.15 – 17.45 both virtually and physically in Trieste, Italy.

Detailed description:

COVID-19 has triggered a flood of misinformation that has been conveyed to an often distressed population desperately longing for solutions to end the pandemic. While research findings generally provide an explanation to the question “What?”, the general public and policymakers are more interested in the consequences of the results, the “So what?”. What can we do to ensure study results are more effectively interpreted and conveyed to the general population in an integral but attractive way? How can science communicators and specialised journalists fill the gap of information that exists between scientists and the general public?

A mixed panel including a scientist, science communicator, journalist and science-policy representative will provide a short overview of the challenges they face and introduce the themes for the main discussion as part of the session. The session will use COVID-19 as a context to illustrate common pitfalls in science communication and how they can potentially be overcome. The discussion will be centered around topics such as what is good science communication and why it is especially important in times of crisis, the ongoing fight against fake news and how miscommunication is having an impact on research policy.

Name of the session: What? Vs. So What?: Science communication in times of crisis

When: 3rd September 16.15 – 17.45 (CET)
Location: Virtual, Room 27A


  • Clive Cookson, Science editor at Financial Times
  • Ivana Kurecic, Scientist and Science Communicator from the TU Munich
  • Federica Bressan, Science Communicator and Editor of the Technoculture Podcast
  • Svetla Tanova-Encke, European Science Media Hub from the European Parliament


  • Chloe Hill, Policy Officer from the European Geophysical Union.