How can socially acceptable solutions be created and mutual learning be realised by two-way dialogue and interaction between the scientist and the public?
In the preceding decades, the call for scientists to communicate with society has become ever stronger and new platforms for interaction have been developed, e.g. science festivals and a growing activity within the field of science journalism.
Traditionally, the overall purpose of the communication has been to increase the public understanding of science and its impact on our society and everyday life, thereby also creating and sustaining a necessary legitimation and justification of the typically tax-generated resources being allocated to research.
But many of the science communication methods undertaken are based on one-way communication which has obvious limits in relation to engaging people and flexibly adjusting to the social environment. Furthermore, no feedback to the scientist is generated as such.
On the other hand, two-way dialogue between science and society has an obvious potential to increase the social relevance and desirability of the science being communicated, since feedback from relevant sectors and segments of society on the usefulness and desirability of the scientific results can be communicated directly from these segments to the scientist. This can lead to a more socially robust or socially acceptable science and an overall strengthening of the relationship between science and society.
Two-way communication may also give the governance of specific research and innovation activities new dimensions, since the interaction may lead scientists and innovators down new paths as regards choosing and deciding what to do.
In this workshop, participants will discuss different ways of strengthening the two-way communication between science and the public by presenting state of the art examples and best practices. In modern societies it’s not possible to establish or securing a two-way communication between the scientific community and the population as a whole. Therefore the workshop will focus on methods and examples of securing the communication process between relevant and representative stakeholders and segments of society. In continuation hereof, the participants will develop ideas on how to incorporate dialogue and mutual learning processes in the communication of scientific results in a European Responsible Research and Innovation framework.
Questions for debate:
- What are the potential benefits of societal dialogues on scientific results – for society, researchers, politicians, etc.?
- How can dialogue processes about science, scientific results, and scientific processes be structured and realized
- Who can participate? Are there mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion that prohibit certain segments of society to participate and promote others?
- How can the dialogue processes take into account the fact that stakeholders may possess different perspectives and framings of the issue in question?
- How can new communication technologies and methods be used to engage citizens in debates and dialogues about science?
- What role does dialogue on science, scientific results and scientific processes play in a future Responsible Research and Innovation framework?
Scientists, science journalists, science communication, dialogue process experts, media and civil society organisations.