Maja Horst: Why Study Science Communication?

Inaugural lecture by Maja Horst on science communication's role in modern knowledge societies

Most societies have come to understand science as a key to their competitiveness and growth. Science Communication is therefore no longer simply a question of making science accessible to non-scientists.

Understanding its role in modern knowledge societies warrants serious theoretical efforts. Such efforts will involve the synthesis of empirical studies and an exploration of Science Communication’s importance for identity-formation as well as for the legitimacy and efficiency of scientific knowledge. To achieve this, we must not only study large-scale public engagement and dissemination activities, but also mundane interactions between popular fiction, media stories, press releases, scientists’ own accounts and day-to-day organizational storytelling.

In this lecture, Maja Horst will argue the necessity of studying Science Communication in a manner which draws upon several theoretical and interdisciplinary strands within the humanities and social sciences. The objective is to understand individual and collective sense-making about what science and scientific organizations both are and ought to be.

The lecture will be introduced by Dean of Humanities, Professor Ulf Hedetoft. After the lecture, department of Media, Cognition and Communication is hosting a reception at the balcony above the cantina in KUA building 23.

Maja Horst has an MA in Communication from Roskilde University (1996) and a PhD in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from CBS (2003). She has published extensively in journals within the field of STS and received a number of research awards. She has continuously experimented with communicating science through spatial installations. For this work, she received the Danish Science Minister’s Communication Prize in 2009.