Why is science important to society?

You live in a knowledge society. Capital and physical activity in addition to mineral resources, knowledge is a progressively vital resource in this society. Science, which makes a significant contribution to knowledge production, is confronted with new challenges; after all, digitalization is changing the way in which knowledge is produced, organized, and, above all, received. In a deliberative democracy, it is important that discourses are informed and decisions are made based on the best possible knowledge. In this way, science drives innovation, contributes to the functioning of democracies, and helps countries to be competitive in the global economy.

Science can help businesses like to be competitive not only in their own country but globally as well.

The question of the part of science in a progressively digital and fragmented society, as well as its importance for civil society and politics, is being redefined. Science can never provide an objective representation and a universal truth of the world. However, it can offer methodically testable interpretations, question certainties and initiate reflections. Science thus has an important social role and at the same time bears great responsibility, especially where the situation is not clear: How can science clearly communicate existing uncertainties and disputes and still avoid the impression of arbitrariness?

What is knowledge transfer?

The interaction between science and society makes sure that knowledge is exchanged, checked and reflected upon between the various interest groups. There is often talk of knowledge transfer, a “passing on of acquired knowledge”. For example, knowledge transfer is used when certain technologies are based on research or when medical research is applied in practice.

Does society need science?

Knowledge is an increasingly important resource in society.

Science can never provide an objective representation of the world or universal truth. Nonetheless, it can offer methodically testable interpretations, question certainties and initiate reflections.

Impact of science

The social effects of science communication – i.e. the consequences of the communicative relationship between science and society – are called the Impact of Science. A distinction is made between internal and external scientific effects. The intra-scientific impact is measured often in the form of publication metrics. The impact of science is intricate and can’t be broken down into quantitative numbers.