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Capacities and Competences in Dealing with Hate Speech and Hostility towards Science (KAPAZ)

Capacities and Competences in Dealing with Hate Speech and Hostility towards Science (KAPAZ)

In recent decades, there has been an increase in the number of attacks on scientists through digital platforms for science communication and the political desire for more social impact. The climate debate of the past few years has made this phenomenon very clear. Most recently, researchers were at the centre of populist campaigns and hate speech during the Covid 19 pandemic. Online platforms reinforce this trend and provide a space to spread such negative statements quickly and with high visibility.

New Strategies for a Resilient Research System

Verbal attacks and threats against researchers on social media are a significant part of hostility towards science. They can have a negative impact on scientists’ willingness to engage with societal actors or to communicate their knowledge publicly. Therefore, it is particularly important to prevent hostility towards science and attacks on researchers. However, there is a lack of effective resources, strategies, and measures to deal with these attacks and their effects at the level of both individual scientists and institutions. Consequently, capacities and competencies are needed for researchers and scientific institutions to deal with modern forms of hostility towards science.

Central Contact Point for Researchers and Research Institutes

The aim of the project is to make the science system more resilient and adaptable to current developments. To this end, the KAPAZ project network is developing a range of different content and structures:

  • Robust knowledge base on the topic of hostility to science
  • Helpdesk for affected researchers based on the knowledge on hostility to science
  • Guidelines for capacity and competence building at scientific institutions
  • Inter-university train-the-trainer programme for communication officers
  • Summer school for young researchers

Project partners


Duration 2023 – 2025
Funding VolkswagenStiftung


Picture by Matt Paul Catalano on Unsplash


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