PE2020 project is based on intensive cooperation between the consortium, national science policy actors, research programmes and citizens. Public engagement pilots will be organized in the context of 6 research programmes focusing on grand societal challenges, such as climate change and aging.
In WP1 we identify innovative public engagement tools and procedures, such as societal advisory panels and criteria or games and simulations used in the design and prioritization of research. Most innovative procedures will be transferred to new contexts, where they will be tested and evaluated.
Interviews with interested parties
To identify potential contexts for our pilots, in WP3 we have started to interview managers of international research programmes, science policy makers, science museum actors, and professionals from NGOs devoted to environmental and technoscientific issues. When we have talked about the idea of piloting some new practices of public engagement, the response has been overall very positive, while at the same time, we have learned about the state of the art of public engagement in current research programmes. In a few cases, like the research programme for the Baltic Sea, Bonus, we have found a long tradition of intensive engagement of stakeholders. For example, in the Bonus programme, several thousand stakeholders have contributed to the Baltic Sea research strategy, and Bonus ‘ambassadors’ have served as brokers between research and policy making.
We have found that there is an interest in developing new kind of interaction between different institutions, such as science museums, science policy decision makers and the public. Heureka science museum is currently focusing on participatory activities, and they have successful experience of citizen science projects, such as collecting data with the help of museum visitors, for genetic research on musicality.
Next steps in designing public engagement pilots
Our idea is to progress with the interviews, and start to identify potentially transferable practices of public engagement that we can pilot with our partner programmes. With the help of the work done in WP1 for the identification of most innovative public engagement practices, and modelling of the success factors of public engagement in programme context (WP2) we are in a most inspiring and creative position in WP3 to test something really new, and hopefully beneficial to research programme managers.