Ten million for better science communication

Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf wants to lay a ‘solid foundation’ for science communication in the Netherlands. A new national centre is planned that will contribute towards trust in science.

Photo by: Martijn Beekman

The new centre will gather and share expertise with a view to more effective science communication. In the next ten years, Minister Dijkgraaf is making more than ten million euros available to the centre, which will be set up in cooperation with academics. Inspiration is being taken from similar initiatives in Germany (Wissenschaft im Dialog) and the UK (National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement).

More accessible

In March, Dijkgraaf gave a lecture in Leiden in which he talked of the importance of good science communication and bridging the gap between science and society. ‘Science needs to become more visible and more accessible.’

At that meeting, Professor Ionica Smeets advocated better science communication along the lines of our neighbouring countries. Here it is too dependent on ‘lone wolves who are fighting a losing battle’, she said. There needs to be something more structured. Apparently her idea appealed to the minister.

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