Closely interlocking cooperation between medicine, engineering and the natural sciences can give rise to challenges in communication. This may be related to exchanges between the participating scientists, as well as the public dialogue.

A) Internal communication beyond the borders of the individual disciplines
The scientists from different disciplines and research groups should work together as effectively and as free of friction as possible, if they are to achieve the desired progress in BIOFABRICATION. However, communication between specialists in different areas is often difficult and complicated. In communication science and practice, questions of understanding in heterogenous teams are discussed under the keyword of internal organisational communication. Possible approaches to solving the difficulties may include supporting mutual comprehension and in enhancing the expertise of communication within the team. Nevertheless, the social organisation structure and the communication behaviour of the scientists in the BIOFABRICATION project should not be seen as a genuine object of research. It is rather the case that work is performed within the module to enhance communication between the participating research units. Particularly in the initial phase of the project, instruments will be developed on the basis of scientific findings on interdisciplinary collaboration and practical experience in the moderation of exchanges within interdisciplinary teams. These instruments will then be applied to enhancing internal communication.

B) External communication of complex technology to the lay public: public understanding of biofabrication
The lay public is often interested in the development and application of new treatment technologies, but is also often sceptical or nervous. It is difficult to explain complex technologies to the lay public and the dialogue between the participating scientists, journalists, patients and the lay public has often been difficult. In particular, patients require comprehensive information, in order to reduce their uncertainty about novel methods of treatment. Thus, one essential challenge in introducing new techniques is to create transparency and to help patients and the public to understand the opportunities and risks.
The public and medium response to BIOFABRICATION and the activities of the project consortium will therefore be examined at the Institute for Journalism and Communication Research (ijk) of the Hannover University for Music, Theatre and Media - on the basis of existing experience in the public understanding of science and health communication. Approaches to support the dialogue between science and the public will be developed in the project. The perception and assessment of BIOFABRICATION by various sections of the public and players will be determined and systematised - together with their fears, worries and hopes. The conceptual focus is on the approaches of health communication and reception of science by the lay public. The accompanying studies are intended to enhance our understanding of current “Public Understanding of Science and Technology”, as well as providing applied scientific support for the development of transparency and to support an appropriate public attitude to BIOFABRICATION. The objective is to present scientific and medical concepts in such a way that anxiety about medical innovation processes can be reduced. Applied scientific aspects of communication between doctors and patients are also of interest, particularly for normal clinical work.

Here are the staff of this module