In the course of the next three years, more than 250 scientists will have the opportunity to participate in “the Academy of Communication” (“Formidlingsakademiet”) when the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters this autumn presents a large-scale course on communications. The project is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation with more than 4 million DKK.

”Now, more so than ever, we need scientists from every scientific field to share their knowledge and to partake in public debates – which makes it paramount that they are equipped with the skills to do it, as well as the interest in doing so” says Prof. Marie Louise Nosch, President of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, when asked about the motivation for creating the Academy of Communication. At this academy, some of the most experienced and well-renowned communicators in the media as well as the scientific landscape of Denmark will provide the participants with excellent communicative tools to help them share their latest research whether they are presenting something to the media, at a lecture or partaking in heated panel discussions.

Generally speaking, science and technology are part of all areas of our modern lives. To navigate our own lives as well as our roles as part of a greater society, we all need valid information from the scientific world. This goes for situations of great immediate interest like the Covid-19 pandemic during which we have been listening to scientists speaking of their latest results on a daily basis, but also for other long-term societal discussions in relation to topics such as health, economy, food products, climate change, digitization and other problems that we have yet to discover but which can be solved by basic research.

With science today being challenged by tendencies like “science denialism” or fake news, it seems clear that solid and creative communication of basic research is even more important now than ever before. And that is where the Academy of Communication finds its relevance.

And the funding of the project likewise:

”I am very excited about the establishing of the Academy of Communication for scientists in Denmark. It is very important to the Carlsberg Foundation to support a science-based development of society. However, such a development requires scientists and experts competently participating in the public debate on the subjects important to us all. And for that reason, I am very pleased that a large number of scientists throughout the next three years will have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills to contribute with solid and factual knowledge in the public debates and discussions that continuously present themselves in our society,” states Prof. Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation. 

His opinion is shared by Steffen Lüders, Senior Vice President of the Novo Nordisk Foundation:

”Excellent researchers are not necessarily good at communicating what their research is all about and why it is interesting to others. We would like to change that, because there are so many interesting and important stories in science that deserve a much bigger audience than what they have now.”

In total, the two foundations have funded the project with more than 4 million DKK which will be used on establishing and developing the Academy.

The Academy of Communication will generate a thoroughly tested model for research communication

Participating in the classes of the Academy of Communication is free, and participation from all areas of research is possible. The Academy will be composed of a class with physical attendance for 15 participants, which requires an application beforehand, as well as an online class for about 80 participants which only requires registration. A podcast touching on the key points of the classes at the Academy for everyone who is interested in learning more about research communication will be published later on.

After three years of running the Academy of Communication, we hope to have gained sufficient knowledge to create a model of teaching research communication that may be used by other institutions and that, furthermore, can be published in book form. The Academy officially commences in the autumn of 2021, and the first class of scientists ready to do media appearances, lectures and participate in debates will graduate in June 2022. Should you have any questions, or would you like to participate, you are welcome to contact us on Formidlingsakademiet@videnskabernesselskab.dk.

For all press related information, please contact Head of Communications at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Kristoffer Frøkjær on telephone number +45 31146101 or e-mail kf@royalacademy.dk.