Research in the KielSCN

Our Aim

Our aim is to advance visual science communication based on evidence. We want to achieve this by investigating the user experience as well as by developing and testing different visual designs.

To boost engagement and participation in science communication, we explore collaborative and participatory approaches for visual design. This co-design process will be supported by trainings and guidance for the teams consisting of stakeholders with different backgrounds. Our mid-term goal is to enhance genuine community building activities and to form diverse communities that will allow a deeper knowledge transfer beyond filter bubbles.

As an initial topic, we focus on innovative health research. Health-related topics are of highest relevance for citizens and societies. But they also pose enormous challenges regarding their communication, as highlighted by the current Covid-19 pandemic and the diverse public responses. The strong involvement of our leading health scientists ensures a dynamic content decision based on scientific and societal relevance.

Our Agenda

The KielSCN research combines fundamental research and theory development with applied laboratory and field studies. This enables us to include outstanding and on-going research of cutting-edge science and society into our design, visual development and dissemination program.

We want to enhance our Understanding of Visual Science Communication

In order to enhance our understanding of visual science communication we will focus on characterizing and optimizing the user experience. We will also explore how user experience contributes to users’ understanding and engagement as measurable outcomes. Some of our main research questions are:

  • What makes information visualizations attractive and how does attractiveness relate to the user experience?
  • Which emotions are best aroused to engage individuals in scientific information?
  • How does an optimization of the visual design contribute to long-term outcomes of the science communication?
  • How do information visualizations contribute to reaching a wider and more diverse audience by addressing epistemic as well as artistic needs of users?

We want to explore the Potential of Collaborative and Participatory Visual Design

To figure out the potential of collaborative and participatory visual design as a tool to boost engagement and participation in science communication, we will further explore these approaches. Especially, we will have a closer look at how they impact visual design and the users’ engagement. Exemplary research questions are:

  • How does collaborative design look like in science communication?
  • What are common enablers and obstacles of collaborative design?
  • How does collaborative design affect the quality of science communication design and, ultimately, science communication outcomes?
  • Does participatory design have positive effects on user experiences and their outcomes?

We want to investigate how and with whom Information Visualizations are shared online

Regarding the question how and with whom information visualizations are shared and distributed on online as well as on social media platforms and communities we will study the distribution of information visualizations. Therefore we will adress the following questions:

  • Which information visualizations are shared by users, scientists, and science communicators, respectively?
  • How can the visualizations be characterized, for example in comparison to visualizations used for other purposes such as marketing?
  • To which extent do the visualizations’ properties affect the posting and sharing behavior of users, scientists, and science communicators?
  • What properties make visualizations popular amongst different stakeholder groups?
  • How do researchers as well as educational organizations consider visual designs in their planning of science communication?

Your Participation

Be a Part of the Team as a Fellow with Your Own Project

In order to establish the KielSCN as an international player in science communication research, we specifically integrate external expertise in research and creative fields by offering fellowships.

More information here.

Be a Part of the Team as a User Sharing Your Experience

One of our goals is to give the users an active voice to adaptively meet their needs and preferences right from the start. Therefore our designs will also be tested and improved with non-expert public and educational users in a form of participatory design very early on in the process. Stay tuned for more information and follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

Access our Research

Making our unique expertise available and providing insights into the latest research findings is considered a core duty of our work. We will make every effort to be at the forefront of engaging and interacting with academic and non-academic audiences. Our transfer portfolio involves a Clearing House, literature reviews, toolboxes, and transfer publications. We will also communicate directly on several channels, including for example this website, press releases or social media and look forward to meeting you at public events.