The PE2020 and the CASI projects jointly organised a policy conference for various stakeholders in Brussels, Belgium, November 16-17, 2016. Please find here the report of the conference with some conclusions of the policy messages and discussions that took place during the day.
The high level policy conference on Public Engagement for Research, Practice and Policy is just around the corner! The organisations are just waiting for our final touch and we are expecting to see 200 highly motivated expert and stakeholder to discuss public engagement and sustainable innovation. Exciting!
While waiting for the beginning of the conference, you can take a look at our new policy brief about boosting public engagement!
The policy conference is jointly organised with the CASI project so go ahead and check out interesting new information related to sustainable innovation and its assessment and management in the CASI website as well.
You can find us in Twitter under @PublicEngagemen and @casi2020 tweeting about the conference. If you cannot join us in person, please join us in twitter using the hashtag #CASI-PE2020!
Public Engagement for Research, Practice and Policy
Exploring Policy Options for Responsible Research, Sustainability and Innovation
Policy conference, 16-17 November, 2016
Venue: Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 99-101 B – 1040 Brussels
By setting public engagement (PE) as a key thematic element of responsible research and innovation (RRI), the European Commission promotes fundamental changes in the way in which civil society and other stakeholders outside the scientific community influence – and are expected to influence – research activities. Promoting PE means giving more weight to citizens and stakeholders in the definition of research needs, in the critical reflection of current and future research priorities, and in the implementation of R&I activities. Especially intriguing is the role of public engagement for sustainable development through innovation – a relatively new paradigm that stresses the importance of sustainability considerations in the innovation processes, but also aptly integrates public engagement as a precondition to sustainability.
Yet there is limited understanding of the transformations that widespread use of PE will involve in R&I activities. Can PE remain an add-on to academic research, or does it involve some new functions, or even structural changes in the ways that research will be designed, funded, implemented and evaluated? How can PE contribute to better governance of science-in-society interaction at the regional, national or EU level, and what makes PE successful in it? How will PE enhance (or hinder) innovating, and what strategic, programme or operational measures, and among which societal actors, can best guarantee (a solid pathway to) sustainability commitments? Without clear answers to these issues, there is a risk that PE does not serve RRI, but on the contrary, becomes a burden for R&I activities, and an obstacle for bridging of research and society.
This policy conference focuses on best public engagement and sustainable innovation practices and identifies common European priorities on how to stimulate societal engagement for sustainable innovation activities in European regions, scientific institutions, SMEs and other societal actors. We bring together a broad range of experts, stakeholders, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, regional authorities and Commission officials. This conference, jointly organised by the PE2020 (Public Engagement Innovation for Horizon 2020) and the CASI (Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation) projects, focuses on the intersection of public engagement and sustainable innovation.
You can find the registration form, more information, the programme and soon to be updated session contents in here.
What are the incentives to take part in science-society dialogue? Does my research have any impact? How could I efficiently interact with stakeholders and citizens? These were some of the questions that we (Mikko Rask and Maria Pietilä from the University of Helsinki) used in order to spur early career scientists’ imagination and to entice them to attend a workshop on public engagement in research in Riga, Latvia.
PE2020 had the pleasure of organizing this futures workshop on public engagement as part of the 10th Baltic Sea Science Congress the 16th of June, 2015. The workshop was organized in collaboration with BONUS, the European Union’s joint Baltic Sea research and development programme. BONUS is one of the research contexts for PE2020 in piloting innovative public engagement processes related to the societal challenges identified in Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Usually, informal education initiatives on science and technology tend to attract the interest of the audience by leveraging on the fascination of scientific discovery and technological innovations. This is obviously a right strategy. However, to a certain extent, it could be also risky.
The risk is that people could be led to see science and technology as something fully detached from society, something which comes from afar and produced elsewhere, something which could affect our life but which is not and cannot be affected by us. Like the children who think that milk is produced by the refrigerator and not by the cows, people could be led to think that science is only made in the single laboratories by single researchers and not the output of complex research systems involving many actors, infrastructures, policies and resources.
Is science important to ordinary people? And why?
Science is a system for exploring, winning and losing, for innovation and stagnation. In ancient times knowledge was passed in oral traditions, later people started to record their observations with numerical data and step by step science became more professionalized and institutionalized in 20th century. BUT… science has always been driven by curiosity, creativity, challenges and people. Today a third of the world’s economic growth has resulted from research. It affects us every day from the moment we wake up: the coffee you drink, the bus you ride, the shoes you wear, the film you watch, etc.
IF YOU THINK THAT SCIENCE DOESN’T MATTER THINK AGAIN… AND WATCH PE2020
video “ Why science is important?”
– Saule –
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.
Continue reading Cooperation with science in society actors