Conference Climate (Change) Communication in Ilmenau

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Dr. Anita Engels

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Dr. Anita Engels will give the keynote at our conference. As a sociologist, she has over 20 years of experience in the field of climate (change) research. Currently she teaches sociology with a focus on globalization, environment and society at the University of Hamburg. Anita Engels is an acknowledged expert in sociological climate science. However, she was also among the first scientists in Germany who conducted studies in the field of climate change communication. With her expertise and broad experience, she will stimulate the discussion at the conference. Frequent appearances in the media (e.g. as interviewee in newspapers and podcasts) further stresses the relevance of her research for our society.

Some of Prof. Engels‘ most recent publications:
– Eve Chiapello, Anita Engels 2021: The fabrication of environmental intangibles as a questionable response to environmental problems. Journal of Cultural Economy, 6/4, 1-16.
– Stammer, Detlef; Anita Engels; Jochem Marotzke; Eduardo Gresse; Christopher Hedemann; Jan Petzold (eds.); 2021. Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2021. Assessing the plausibility of deep decarbonization by 2050. Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CLICCS). Hamburg, Germany.
– Engels, Anita 2021: Environment. Special Issue Soziologische Revue Soziologie – Sociology in the German-Speaking World, Eds. B. Hollstein et. al., De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 67-82.

Practitioner Panel

Transforming Climate Journalism and Society:
Initiatives in Practical Journalism

Committed climate journalists are getting angry. The long-standing underrepresentation of the climate crisis topic in the media and the solely incident-focused approach of reporting (UN-summit, extreme weather, reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) instead of an integrated one increasingly leads to discontent also among journalists. New approaches (e.g., “transformative” or “constructive” journalism) attempt to reach a journalism that is committed to being ecological in various ways. This journalism is trying to live up to the challenges global ecological crisis pose in unconventional ways. We want to present and discuss three very different initiatives in this practitioner panel:

Netzwerk Klimajournalismus Deutschland – Sara Schurmann
Sara Schurmann is a freelance journalist and wrote an open letter to her German colleagues in journalism, demanding a different way of reporting of climate topics. Initially, the letter was supported by 50 addressers. Afterwards, more than 200 joined. Together with fellow campaigners she is constructing the Netzwerk Klimajournalismus Deutschland. Currently she provides advice regarding climate reporting for the SWR.

Perspective Daily – Maren Urner
Maren Urner is a neuroscientist. She aims at a constructive reporting of the climate crisis, at a discussion of different solution approaches and at stimulating agency. Therefore, she founded the first ad-free online magazine for constructive journalism (Perspective Daily). Meanwhile, she is professor for media psychology at the university for media, communication, and economy (Cologne).

KLIMA° vor acht e.V. – Friederike Mayer
Friederike Mayer is a journalist and founding member of KLIMA° vor acht e.V. Since over a year KLIMA° vor acht advocates for better climate reporting on TV: The initiative demands for a short daily, science-based TV program concerning the climate crisis which should be aired during primetime on the public service broadcasting TV channels – for example shortly before the “Tagesschau” (News) in the ARD. For this purpose, KLIMA° vor acht produced a series of six exemplary episodes. So far, conversations with the ARD did not come to any solution. However, the private TV channel RTL partly implemented the concept.

Michael Brüggemann, professor for communication science, climate and science communication at the university of Hamburg will introduce and moderate the panel.

Call for Papers

Climate (change) communication is present in a variety of different media, in numerous forms, and includes various actors. Thus, it is necessary to analyze the entire communication process, starting with scientific expert communication and ending with recipients’ reactions to it.

Communication about climate (change) can be analyzed in different social contexts and from generally all perspectives. Against this backdrop, science communication takes on the role of a meta-discipline, as it focuses on citizen discourses, knowledge, opinions, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as on the contents and consequences of political, journalistic, economic, and scientific debates.

This conference strives to reflect the full diversity of climate (change) communication and its scientific analysis. As such, we appreciate contributions from various angles that address the topic. International submissions are highly welcome, and we explicitly invite scientists from Global South countries to submit their work to the conference.

  • Hybrid format: attendance and presentations in person or digitally (real-time presentations)

  • Conference contributions can be submitted and presented in German and English

  • Submission of conference contributions (extended abstracts, max. 8000 characters incl. spaces and references) by October 15, 2021, in PDF format, to:


Group for Media Research and Political Communication

Content Responsibility: Jens Wolling, Christina Schumann, Marius Becker
Technische Universität Ilmenau
Ehrenbergstraße 29
98693 Ilmenau

Website of the Research Group

Contact DGPuK Science Communication Division

Sven Engesser (
Andreas Scheu (

City & University


Ilmenau is in Central Germany on the north border of the Thuringian Forest. Thanks to the Goethe hiking trail and the famous Rennsteig hiking trail, Ilmenau is a popular travel destination for tourists. In winter, Ilmenau offers good possibilities for cross-country skiing and other winter sports such as ice-skating and ice stock sport.

Ilmenau University of Technology (TU Ilmenau)

Founded in 1894, the TU Ilmenau has a history of 115 years. It was established as a Technical College in 1963 and in 1992 as a Technical University. With about 6,000 students, the university has great significance for the 26,000-resident city. Scientists from various disciplines at TU Ilmenau have been working intensively in the field of energy research for years in order to answer the multitude of still unanswered questions regarding the energy transition, which is necessary to fight climate change. An inside in the topic related research of the university is provided here: Research of TU Ilmenau and more specifically of the research group EMPK hosting the conference here: Research of the EMPK

Institute of Media and Communication Science

Since the Institute of Media and Communication Science (IfMK) was established in 1996, Ilmenau also accommodates a socio-scientific institute that offers the study courses Applied Media and Communication Science (BA) and Media and Communication Science (MA). It is one of Germany’s largest academic institutes for communication science. A special characteristic of research and teaching is the strong interdisciplinary orientation of the institute that includes technical and economic contents in the socio-scientific curriculum.

Media Gallery

Images courtesy of Prof. Dr. Jens Wolling

Travelling & Accommodation

… by train

Ilmenau can easily be reached by train via Erfurt. The train ride from Erfurt to Ilmenau takes about an hour. Erfurt can be reached from Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin in around two hours. If travelling via Saalfeld, you can already change trains in Arnstadt. Travellers from Schweinfurt change trains in Plaue.

… by airplane

Ilmenau is situated in the centre of Germany. The international airports of Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich or Leipzig can be reached in an acceptable time.

… by car

Ilmenau is easily accessible by car. The Autobahn A71 connects Ilmenau with Erfurt (and the Autobahn A4) in the north and with Würzburg and Nürnberg (via the Autobahn A73) in the south. The TU Ilmenau is signposted from the Autobahn exit Ilmenau-Ost.



Berg und Spa Hotel Gabelbach
Am Gabelbach 1
98693 Ilmenau
Tel.: +49 3677 86 00

MARA Hotel
Krohnestraße 5
98693 Ilmenau
+49 36 77 / 46 80 390

Hotel Sonne
Am Markt 2
98693 Ilmenau
Tel.: +49 3677 46 58 38

Hotel Tanne
Lindenstraße 38
98693 Ilmenau
Tel.: +49 3677 65 90

Hotel garni am Kirchplatz
Fachgraben 6
98693 Ilmenau
Tel.: +49 3677 2 08 16 66

Pension Schmidt / City-Pension Morgentau in Ilmenau
Zwetschenberg 3
98693 Ilmenau
Tel.: +49 3677 89 32 45

Pension Melanie
98693 Ilmenau
Tel.: +49 3677 67 01 45

Youth hostel
Jugendherberge Ilmenau
Am Stollen 49
98693 Ilmenau
Tel.: +49 3677 88 46 81


This website was created on behalf of and under the responsibility of:

Prof. Dr. Jens Wolling

Department of Empirical Media Research and Political Communication

Institute for Media and Communication Studies

Ilmenau University of Technology

Mail: Jens.Wolling[at]

Phone: +49 3677 69 4653

Fax: +49 3677 69 4650

Ernst Abbe Centre for Research and Transfer (EAZ)

Ehrenbergstr. 29, D-98693 Ilmenau

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