The INSIGHTS project at the BSE aims to support and promote the communication of research and to contribute to its transfer to the public. The WZB and the DIW have obtained project funding from the Leibniz Gemeinschaft for this purpose. INSIGHTS includes all BSE institutions and the DIW.
The communication of academic research in economics is of vital importance to stimulate public debates and inform political decisions. However, successful communication and research-based policy advice is difficult: the advice needs to be timely and it needs to be supported by solid research findings. The communication needs to be clear and concise, while uncertainty and caveats need to be identified and explained. These high standards of communication are the basis for INSIGHTS.
Today, transfer and policy communication is mainly in the hands of a few generalists who are popular experts, very experienced in communication, and therefore highly in demand by the media. We aim to encourage and support specialists who are working at the research frontier of relevant topics to communicate their research results to the public and to policymakers.
INSIGHTS has two main pillars, a platform of exchange between researchers, policymakers, the media, and the public, and the provision of professional guidance and formal training on how to interact with the public and communicate academic methods and results for junior researchers.
In practice this means:
- Workshops: INSIGHTS conducts transfer activities through self-organized conferences and topical workshops with a policy focus.
- Conference Presentations: INSIGHTS supports conference presentations with a policy focus by PhD students and junior faculty to strengthen transfer activities for policy-relevant research.
- INSIGHTS Pieces: A platform to disseminate policy briefs created by BSE researchers and to provide links to other established academic policy outlets that publish work intended to communicate research. Between April and July 2020 Insights pieces created a special section with articles on the Corona Crisis.
- Research Projects: INSIGHTS supports (or funds) co-creation and joint research projects as cooperations between researchers and policymakers.
- INSIGHTS Events: As part of INSIGHTS mission to foster the dialogue between research and society, we host events like roundtables, discussions and talks. Our seminar series INSIGHTS Roundtable creates a forum for the discussion of current political issues between science, politics, administration and society.
- Skills: Media training and coaching, support and advice on academic and non-academic writing for junior researchers.
- Internships: INSIGHTS provides financial support for internships PhDs and post-docs to visit newspapers, radio stations and professional communication agencies for guidance on how media professionals communicate and translate research results into formats for a general audience.
- Knowledge Labs: INSIGHTS will be supported by a network of senior scholars who lead the knowledge labs. They will advise junior researchers regarding communication and co-creation activities.