Bench Talks – A Conversation between Science and Media

Two people on a bench. Somewhere in Berlin. A researcher and a journalist discuss current world events and the state of science communication.

Saturn-ähnliches Dekortationsbild


Dr Stephanie Siewert
Programme Director
Communication Lab
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Berlin Office
Markgrafenstr. 37
10117 Berlin


Two people on a bench. Somewhere in Berlin. A researcher and a journalist discuss current world events and the state of science communication. A dialogue that offers a comparative view between different cultures and languages. An unscripted conversation of two professions that often hardly have the time to engage in an unplanned chat. Here, we take the luxury of “drifting” and “dwelling” in interdisciplinary space – which takes us to new perspectives for our global community.

Our thanks go to Amie Liebowitz for voiceover and Ellery Studio for editing.

Saturn-ähnliches Dekortationsbild

Bench Talks is part of the Communication Lab, a joint programme of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the International Journalists’ Programmes.

More information on ComLab


"Bench Talks" is also available here:

Bench Talk 02: Refugee crisis, digitalisation & the threat of gender-based violence online

In the second episode of Bench Talks, Daphnee Iglesias, former German Chancellor Fellow, UN Consultant, and specialist on data access and human rights protection, and Sarah Tekath, foreign correspondent on Women’s and LGBTQ rights, talk about the role of digitalisation in the global refugee crisis and the threat of gender-based violence and racism online. How exactly do technology and social media divide us? But how can they also help to create spaces of economic and social opportunity for women, and especially female refugees? Daphnee and Sarah share their professional and personal experience with gender discrimination.

Daphnee Iglesias

Daphnee Iglesias is a German Chancellor Fellow from Brazil (2018 cohort) based in Bonn, Germany. She is a digitisation specialist who holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Hertie School and a B.A. in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás (PUC-GO). She is also trained in Social Innovation and Leadership by the United Nations University for Peace (UPEACE). Her research analyses the connections between the increasing use or misuse of new technologies and its implications to countries' digital policies: in privacy regulation, government transparency, and human rights protection. Currently she works as Policy Officer at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and acts as UN-IGF Consultant for Access and Connectivity.

Sarah Tekath

Living in Amsterdam for the past eight years, Sarah Tekath works as a foreign correspondent for several German and international media, such as Euronews, neues deutschland and perspective daily. She is also a podcaster for Deutschlandfunk. Her topics span feminism, women’s rights, social issues and LGBT rights.

Bench Talk 01: Climate communication, fake news & the Brazilian elections 2022

In the first episode of Bench Talks, Albert Steinberger, journalist at Deutsche Welle Brasil, and Fabio Fornari, sustainability researcher and alumnus of the German Chancellor Fellowship, talk about misinformation and climate change, the role of science and media in the 2022 Brazilian presidential elections, and what “debate” means or can mean in the age of fake news and populism.


Fabio Fornari

Fabio Fornari is a former fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation German Chancellor Fellowship based in Berlin, Germany. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Tourism from the University Anhembi Morumbi, a Specialisation in Politics and International Relations from the School of Sociology and Politics of São Paulo and a master’s degree in Tourism Development from the University of São Paulo. His main research interests are the climate agenda, sustainable tourism and how the industry reacts to the climate crisis.

Albert Steinberger

Currently based in Berlin, Albert works as a TV correspondent, video reporter for the Deutsche Welle. Specializing in international affairs, he has been working in journalism for more than 15 years in both news and features. He started covering the Brazilian Government, based in Brasília. He also was a constant contributor to the Science TV-Magazine “Futurando” (Deutsche Welle Brasil). He has earned journalism awards, being one of them the “Prêmio CNT de Jornalismo 2018” for a feature about electric cars to “Jornal Nacional” (TV Globo). Used to be in front and behind the camera, he has worked for BBC World Service (including the coverage of London 2012 Olympic Games), the German channel ZDF (during Brazil’s Fifa World Cup 2014), the Deutsche Welle and the Brazilian TV channel TV Globo.

Bench Talks is part of the Communication Lab: Twice a year, ten Humboldt Fellows meet up with ten journalists from the International Journalists’ Programmes. During a four-day workshop the participants discuss criteria of good research communication. In teams of two they develop a piece of cutting-edge science journalism, promoting dialogue between science and media.