The two concepts are fundamental to our research approach. This article explains what these terms mean within the context of the QUEST project, and how they relate to our work.
Multi-stakeholder and Co-design are two key words in the QUEST project. They describe both the approach we use to investigate the identified research topics as well as the process we adopt to provide the answers to those same investigations.
The construction of a QUEST stakeholder community is a process that started since the early submission stage of the QUEST proposal, and one that continues and is being reinforced throughout the project’s implementation phase. We initially had on board 11 institutions, such as CERN, INFN, BBC, EUPRIO, Sense about Science, SciCo, NOI Spa, Alcantara, and a number of national science journalism associations. Four more institutions have joined QUEST since the beginning of the project in February 2019 – SISSA MediaLab, AICUN, Labs Explorer, and ETH Board – and we do hope many others will join this ongoing process.
The objective of the QUEST stakeholder community is not only to reinforce the evidence of the success of this EU H2020 project, but it also represents an effort to embrace a wider community concerned in the discussions around science communication. Each stakeholder can bring their experiences and benefit from those of the others by offering occasions – not always taken for granted – to meet and discuss. And the QUEST project, investigating the state of the art and quality in science communication, can also certainly benefit from these multi-stakeholder exchanges and build its results upon them through the co-design approach.
Several co-design events have already been organized in the first year of the project, and they have been a key part of our research in identifying KPIs, collecting best practices and barriers for Policy and Incentives, and detecting educational needs and current opportunities for science communication. These were preliminary activities that the second-year work will build on, intensifying the co-design activities in an effort to involve even more stakeholders’ categories to further develop and validate the outputs of the project. These include guidelines, educational toolkits, digital tools, and policy recommendations.
We strongly believe that this methodology will help QUEST reach meaningful results, and we are hopeful that it will positively contribute to the current growing phase of science communication.