Online symposium on July 29, 2021
14:45-19:15 (UTC+2 / Munich), 08:45-13:15 (UTC-4 / EST)

Register through this external website (Zoom).

Communicating Planetary Health

Science communication between research, practice & social movements.

Science communication is currently facing the challenge of explaining the complex links between climate change and human health and pointing out options for action. Global challenges such as pandemics or climate change are proving that the mere dissemination of information is not adequate to respond to issues where scientific research, societal changes, individual choices and political actions are tightly entangled.

In no field is this so evident as in the emerging field of planetary health, which recognises the need for interaction and collaboration. How can we empower audiences, value their worldviews and experiences, offer them a true role to play within issues that may look distant and unreal? How can we tackle the political and social aspects of these challenges while addressing polarisation of audiences, doubts about the independence of scientific research, or claims of elitism?

Dealing with emotions, opinions, narratives and collective identities is currently one of the greatest challenges for science communication. Thus, we need to invent new models where audiences’ values, emotions and worldviews are not considered as pure obstacles to science but are taken into account in order to build new narratives. 

We need to develop science communication approaches that are adequate for “wicked problems” like planetary health, that convey the complexity and uncertainty of the scientific process while offering strong engagement and pathways for action. This can best be achieved by the unique partnership linking the practitioners’ experiences, the reflexive work of academics, and researchers from across a wide range of disciplines. 

Тhe Munich Science Communication Lab (MSCL), located at the LMU Munich, is taking on this challenge and addressing these burning issues in the field of planetary health. The MSCL is based on a partnership between science communication academics, practitioners and subject-matter researchers. Our model follows an interdisciplinary co-design approach in which the partners from the three fields will discuss and critically revise existing models of science communication, build new ones and translate them into practical public experiments with a diversity of audiences.


14:45 (UTC+2 / Munich), 08:45 (UTC-4 / EST)

Welcome and Greetings

15:00 (UTC+2 / Munich), 09:00 (UTC-4 / EST)

Session 1

Planetary Health as a wicked problem for science communication

Session 1 with keynotes and discussion moderated by Michael John Gorman (BIOTOPIA / LMU Munich).

  • Sarah Davies, Professor of Technosciences, Materiality, & Digital Cultures at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna
  • Sam Myers, Principal Research Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance

17:00 (UTC+2 / Munich), 11:00 (UTC-4 / EST)

Session 2

Planetary Health in the media: chances and risks of a new approach

Session 2: Conversation moderated by Bernhard Goodwin (LMU Munich / Mediaschool Bayern) with:

  • Philipp Dettmer, Information Designer, kurzgesagt/in a nutshell
  • Henriette Löwisch, School Director of the Deutsche Journalistenschule DJS
  • Astrid Viciano, Editor of Medien-Doktor Gesundheit, medical reporter

18:30 (UTC+2 / Munich), 12:30 (UTC-4 / EST)

Closing Discussion

  • Julia Pongratz, Chair of physical geography and land use systems, LMU Munich
  • Constanze Rossmann, Professor of communication science, University of Erfurt
  • Helmuth Trischler, Professor of modern history and the history of technology at LMU Munich, head of Research at Deutsches Museum

Moderation: Christof Mauch, Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment & Society, LMU Munich

19:15 (UTC+2 / Munich), 13:15 (UTC-4 / EST)


Participation in the symposium is free of charge.

The symposium will be held via Zoom.

Register through this external website (Zoom).

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Dr. Julia Serong | LMU Munich | Department of Communication and Media Studies | julia.serong[at]


The information pursuant to § 5 Telemedia Law and § 55 State Radio Agreement see on the LMU-Website.

Responsible for the content: Dr. Bernhard Goodwin

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung
Oettingenstr. 67
80538 München

Phone: +49 89 2180-9494