What has been referred to as the “Corona crisis” in Germany and Europe since March 2020 consists, on closer inspection, of several closely interwoven crises (epidemiological-medical, social, political, economic). In addition to all these problematic dimensions, the pandemic also confronts societies with completely new communicative challenges: Actor groups in politics, (natural) science and mass media are forced to act in a highly collaborative way to cope with the acute challenges. They share the task of communicating core messages to the democratic-pluralistic citizenry with as much unanimity as possible, despite all the scientific uncertainties – and possibly changing or exceeding their usual communicative tasks vis-à-vis society in the process. This requires a degree of cooperation that has so far not corresponded to the everyday life of these groups of actors, and the citizenry is not used to such cooperation either.
Against this background, the aim of the project is to investigate processes of appropriation, instrumentalization and demarcation between politics and science in the Corona crisis against the background of their mediatization and with regard to their consequences for the legitimacy and credibility of science/scientific knowledge and politics/political action.
The project thus promises, on the one hand, practical short-term insights into current corona science communication and the precarious situation of those who leave the ivory tower consciously, but perhaps also too unprepared in view of the rough seas of political and media instrumentalizations. On the other hand, it offers long-term relevant results on science communication in the context of social crises, in which special epistemic, legitimizing and communicative challenges arise for all participants.
Prof. Dr. Kersten Sven Roth (Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg) and Prof. Dr. Nina Janich