A recent event co-organized by CONCISE, QUEST and RETHINK was an opportunity for policy-makers to learn about the latest results of the three SwafS-19 projects.
Aiming to present evidence-based practical Policy Recommendations to promote quality science communication, the online “EU Policy Dialogue on Science Communication” was organized on November 18th thanks to the collaboration among QUEST, CONCISE and RETHINK, three sister projects investigating the state-of-the-art of science communication, funded under the same Horizon 2020 call Science with and for Society in 2019.
The policy dialogue offered the opportunity to share with the regional, national and European policy-makers, as well as the wider community of science communication stakeholders, the key findings and outputs of the three projects which are studying science communication from different, though complementary perspectives.
The opening session, held by Estrella Durá, Member of the European Parliament, and Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General, DG Research & Innovation, underlined the importance of integrating citizens in European policy-making processes. It also highlighted the crucial role of science communication in conveying scientific knowledge to citizens and facilitating their participation in research and innovation process.
In the following sessions, the three projects shared the findings of their research, focusing on the policy recommendations they are developing to support quality science communication. First Frank Kupper, RETHINK coordinator, discussed the preliminary results of the project, focusing on three main aspects: the shifting landscape of digital science communication, the sense-making practices of citizens, and the quality of science communication. In the final part of the project implementation, RETHINK will focus on the development of training resources for science communication professionals. An interesting insight of the project was that the majority of science communication professionals are oriented towards audiences already engaged in science. Food for thought for the next steps of the research may be how science communication could engage a broader audience.
From QUEST, the project coordinator Alessandra Fornetti presented our main outputs and the project methodology developed to link the results of our research to policy recommendations for R&I institutions, journalism and museums, in accordance with the three main strands investigated in QUEST. The analysis is still ongoing and currently QUEST is collecting views via three QUESTionnaires to validate the research results with a larger audience of professionals and to gather their input and opinion. The policy workshop also represented a great opportunity to present questions to the audience and ask their feedback through a small poll, which allowed us to collect more than 50 answers per research strand. The final QUEST recommendations will be available in January 2021.
Carolina Moreno, CONCISE project coordinator, introduced their project methodology and the results of the public consultation carried out with 497 citizens which aimed at investigating how science communication affects citizens’ attitudes about science. The public consultations have provided interesting insights on how citizens are informed, alongside the project recommendations on how to promote science communication and its impact on citizens.
The final session was a roundtable discussion among the projects’ representatives to discuss the questions from the audience. This was an opportunity to discuss many topics of great interest for the general public such as the role of the media, the growing misinformation and infodemic (taking the current pandemic as a reference), how to communicate uncertainty in science without affecting the trust in the process.
If you’re interested in the discussion, check out the materials of the policy dialogue on CONCISE website, and stay tuned for more from QUEST research!