For the last three decades, the science of external science communication
has become a flourishing field of research. However, one can observe rather an orientation
towards contemporary forms and developments of this field and a neglect of its
historical roots. The following article will try to shed a light on historical aspects of
external science communication by focusing on the historical conditions of its evolution.
It will also highlight the actors who communicated scientific knowledge to various
publics and the purposes they followed as well as the addressees of this external
science communication. The focus will lie on the 19th century as the time of the rise
of natural and technical sciences as well as on the 20th century as the century of mass
media – two conditions, which had an essential impact on the further development
of external science communication. For this, an additional aspect of this article will
be the formats that emerged during the last centuries and which also reflect technical
and medial developments. Communicating science to publics outside the academic
field also meant that places and locations that were more accessible for various publics
were established. The following article will give a short overview of those locations.
Finally, the article will propose desiderata for future research in this field.