On March 5th and 6th, 2020, the network “Grand Challenges & New Forms of Organizing” met for the fourth time – this time, at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany. Our keynote speakers were Professor Jana Costas from European University Viadrina and Professor Laura Marie Edinger-Schons from the University of Mannheim.
Jana Costas offered a critical perspective on the notion of scholarly outreach. She debated whether at all scholars should “leave” the metaphoric ivory-tower of science and engage with society more directly. She suggested that scholars should rather make use of the benefits of the (presumed) ivory-tower, that is the academic freedom it provides, in order to gain scientific insights on grand challenges that society can profit from. Laura Edinger-Schons reported on the impressive teaching and outreach measures that her team and she conduct with a broad variety of partners, providing intriguing insights into the challenges and opportunities of such work.
We also had best-practice & insightful talks and discussions on teaching (forms of teaching, forms of framing/organizing, forms of examining) and diverse outreach practices and tools. Several network participants presented their “best-practice” outreach and transfer activities; thereby facilitating a lively debate on different pathways for researchers to engage with practitioners and society-at-large.
The next network meeting will take place in March 2021. Participants shared impressions and results of the network meeting via Twitter here.