Researchers are nowadays expected to interact with stakeholders. They are expected to define who might benefit from their research outside of academia, and know how to identify the most relevant target groups. These groups vary from decision-makers to industry, and from media to the general public. In addition to finding the right stakeholders, researchers are expected to know which channels are the most useful for reaching them.
At societal level, public engagement of science can have many useful outcomes. These include, on the one hand better informed policy and business innovations with a solid base on credible research, and a better understanding of the ethical and social aspects of research, as well as a more accurate view of science and scientific work, on the other. For researchers, interaction with stakeholders may be rewarding as it stimulates research creativity and innovation, provides ideas and new angles to an issue. It enhances research quality and its impact, and provides different kinds of intellectual challenges, not to mention the many effects of new fruitful partnerships. Some go as far as claiming that quality research in today’s world is dependent on having access to knowledge that is based on broad societal networks.