Science listens

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The face to face dialogue between science and society is important – especially when concerning topics of big social and political impact. The format has three main steps:

  1. Provocative online questions serve two purposes – they shall stimulate the audience to think about the topic and tell their opinions. The answers will be used to create an overview over the mood, hopes, fears and questions of the audience.
  2. Dialogue events bring people and scientists together to discuss about the topics that arose in the questionnaire. The face-to-face exchange is very important – it is not a one way knowledge transfer, but a dialogue between science and society.
  3. The last step is to bring back to the scientific community the outcomes of both, the online questions and the findings of the dialogue events in form of a summarized publication and/or short presentations at scientific conferences or meetings. These publications can also be the basic for workshops held with the scientists working in the corresponding field.


People reflect about an important topic They do not only learn, they can also express their opinions (hopes and fears) Scientists acknowledge the people’s opinions A profound dialogue between science and society takes place  

Target groups


  • Adults
  • Policy Makers

Preparation (main steps)


  • Developing online questions
  • Advertising online questions (e.g. on social media)
  • Analysing the answers of the online questions
  • Defining sub-topics for dialogue events
  • Finding dates and locations for events
  • Finding experts for the events
  • Finding a science journalist for the publication
  • Promoting and conducting the events
  • Writing the text for the publication
  • Publishing and promoting the publication
  • Preparing presentations for conferences or meetings
  • Finding scientists interested in the workshops
  • Conducting the Workshops


Examples or inspirations (videos, links)

  Online questions (German and French): Overview events: Video about personalized health (introduction into the topic):

Name of the Institution or person suggesting/Offering the activity

Foundation Science et Cité, Switzerland