How can citizens influence the direction of European science?

Written by Philip Boucher,

How can citizens influence the direction of European Science


Recent years have seen strengthened links between science and policy. We often hear about the role of scientific evidence in policy-making, but policy also has a substantial influence on the way that science develops. Scientific research is not only about advancing knowledge, but also about responding to the most important opportunities and challenges facing European citizens. But how do we know what these opportunities and challenges are, and how can we prepare a programme of scientific research that will deliver a meaningful response to them? In this context, STOA and TA-SWISS, the Swiss Centre for Technology Assessment, are working together to organise a workshop on Tuesday, 28 March 2017.

Twitter hashtag: #citizens4science

Citizen engagement to inform scientific research programmes

Horizon 2020 is the current iteration of the EU framework programme for research and innovation, running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of almost €80 billion. Preparations are already underway for the next framework programme, the ninth of its kind, which is due to start in 2021. An important part of these preparations is to decide how to shape science and research funding to best respond to the opportunities and challenges that Europe will face over the next decade and beyond. One approach is to adopt a bottom-up strategy, engaging citizens and taking inspiration from their ideas to shape the future of European science.

TA-SWISS is participating in a European project known as CIMULACT (Citizens and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon 2020), which is based on the role of citizen engagement in the future of science. The CIMULACT project consulted more than a thousand citizens in 30 countries, widening the conversation about the future through a public conversation, in a large-scale effort to involve citizens in setting the direction of European research, in particular through the next EU framework programme for research and innovation.

Workshop: The future of science through citizen engagement

The workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss how citizen engagement can help us to respond to key opportunities and challenges in the ninth EU framework programme for research and innovation. The workshop will include an introduction to the CIMULACT project and two panel discussions, the first on the role and responsibility of citizens in European science and the second on how citizens’ concerns about the future can be addressed through science.

Citizens, including scientists, and policy-makers, are invited to take part in the discussion by registering for the workshop before 21 March 2017.


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