About Scicomm-Support

In recent years, the tone and hostility towards scientists and scientific institutions – not only, but especially in social media – has increasingly intensified.

Especially in research areas with immediate social implications and thus particularly controversial topics such as climate change, vaccinations, genetically modified food, gender, migration, political and religious extremism or animal testing, cases of threats, hate speech, intimidation, and other forms of attacks on scientists and science communicators are increasing.

The problem has gained further importance not only due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in the course of which scientists and science communicators became the target of (digital) attacks, defamatory and medial campaigns and threats.

How we help

Scicomm-Support is committed to a democratic discourse on science and aims to make the science system more resilient against unobjective criticism, hatespeech and other forms of hostility towards science. To this end, we provide information and resources on our website such as guides, strategies and wokrhsops and support those affected in the form of free personal counseling.

Who the helpline is for

Scicomm-Support‘s helpline is aimed at anyone who experience attacks and hatespeech due to their science communication. If you are affected by any form of digital as well as analog attacks, we support you with our experienced consultants and additionally offer guidelines and trainings on how to deal with (digital) violence and unobjective conflicts.

If possible for you, we recommend to contact the communication department of your scientific institution in case of an attack in addition to our consulting.

What does Scicomm Support stand for

Scicomm-Support is committed to a democratic and constructive science discourse. We advise and support people who experience attacks online as well as offline because of their science communication. We stand for science communication without incitement and violence and therefore do not advise people who spread them. We stand for a zero-tolerance strategy for abuse and attacks of any kind.

Scicomm-Support does not evaluate the credibility of individual scientists, science communicators or their scientific practice. This evaluation is not within our scope.

Further, we can provide legal advice and psychological support.

Who we are

Scicomm-Support is a joint initiative of theBundesverbands Hochschulkommunikation and Wissenschaft im Dialog.

In addition, Scicomm-Support is part of the pioneering project CAPAZ (Capacities and Competencies in Dealing with Hate Speech and Anti-Science), which involves the Bundesverband Hochschulkommunikation and Wissenschaft im Dialog as well as six other partners and is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. The CAPAZ project is producing a variety of resources that, among other things, put Scicomm-Support on a sound knowledge base, continuously develop advice, and generally examine the image of hostility to science and identify counter-strategies.

The other partners in the CAPAZ project network are Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet and Society (HIIG), die Berlin School of Public Engagement and Open Science (BSOPE), the Free University of Berlin (FU), the German Center for Higher Education and Science Research (DZHW), the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute  (HBI) and the Museum of Natural History (MfN).

Our supporters

Our partners are the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) und die German Rectors’ Conference  (HRK).

We are funded by VolkswagenStiftung and Gerda Henkel Stiftung.

Other supporting institutions are the Bundeskonferenz der Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragten an Hochschulen (bukof), the ZEIT Stiftung Bucerius, the Bucerius Law School, HateAid, the Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus Berlin (MBR), the Initiative Toleranz im Netz, the Opferberatung Rheinland and Stark im Amt.

CONTACT: hallo@scicomm-support.de