The topic of astrobiology is clearly a well suited example, which is timely and where public interest is high. It is also an example where public expectations and scientific reality can be far apart. This can result in mismatch between what the scientist believe should be reported and what might interest the public. This is particularly true of the rather serious attempts to produce artificial life, to understand early life, and to detect extraterrestrial life. For this type of research it is essential that the scientists inform about the real facts in a proper way. Here it is important to be pro-active in the public discussion of ethical and religious issues, which can only be ensured by active communication between scientists and the media. Similarly critical topics are familiar in the context of cloning, stem cell research, and gene therapy.
This meeting is organized by Anja C. Andersen, Axel Brandenburg (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Leena Tähtinen.
Note: this meeting is just prior to the meeting on Astrobiology and Origins of Life.
Follow-up meeting Nordic Science Communication # Bridging the Gap? (meeting in Copenhagen, 13 May 2005)