European Commission, Directorate-General for Research, Science, Economy and Society (2008) Report of the Science in Society Session “Public engagement in science” Portuguese Presidency Conference “The future of science and technology in Europe”, Lisbon, 8-10 October 2007.
What does Public Engagement in Science mean? Science and its associated technologies pervade every sector of society but how do citizens relate to them? And how do scientists consider their relationship with civil society? In recent years, the volume and intensity of public debates about science and technology have risen, boosted by the emergence of controversies over issues such as BSE, genetically (no hyphen) modified organisms, mobile phones and nuclear waste. Should the public be involved only when a problem arises or is there room, reason and interest for a more systematic participation of civil society in scientific research? These questions have been raised during a Europe-wide consultation on the future of the European Research Area (ERA) and the ensuing Portuguese Presidency conference in Lisbon in October 2007. This publication presents the results of the consultation concerning public engagement in science and research. It also reports on the discussion which took place during the Lisbon conference on the purposes of public engagement and the forms it can take during the process of production and regulation of science and technology.
public engagementmutual learningcitizen scienceco-creationinclusionscientific impactinterdisciplinaritysocial valuemotivation for engagementmethodologyresults sharingunpredictable group dynamicsemotional aspects