Inspirations and Resources of the EUSEA Science Engagement Platform
“Living RRI”: Uptakes from the NUCLEUS Project
A large number of activities shared in this platform was inspired by the HORIZON 2020 project NUCLEUS (www.nucleus-project.eu, 2014-2019). Many examples are derived from a series of so-called Mobile Nuclei – modular approaches to facilitate and broaden the uptake of Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI.
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) focuses on engaging citizens and their representative institutions as active agents to solve societal challenges. Enabling easier access to scientific information and results, so a diverse range of stakeholders can participate in immersive discussions on scientific developments, is central to the RRI approach. RRI processes aim to include actors from society, research, industry, policy and education into science and research processes. The goal is to maximise the impact of R+I processes by fostering collaborative forms of knowledge generation and transfer.
The NUCLEUS project aimed to find out how research can better relate and respond to societal needs and challenges. 21 “Mobile Nuclei” advocated for new ways of communicating scientific research, not only by sharing results of research and innovation but by involving a wide range of stakeholders in the discussions of how and why research is conducted. This is the prolific ground in which the Mobile Nuclei took place.
The host organisations were of different kinds: universities, NGOs, science centres or municipalities. Mobile Nuclei were advised to follow the NUCLEUS Project approach of interrelatedness and reflect the RRI concept in the context of research and its relations with various stakeholders.
The following five goals are the goals for the Embedded Nuclei which were considered as guiding principles:
- Build institutionalised bridges between the research community and different stakeholders
- Catalyse ongoing debates about the role of research in open societies
- Develop, nurture and support new forms of transdisciplinary research
- Question and redefine prevailing notions about science agents and recipients
- Stimulate co-responsibility in all actors involved in the process of research and innovation
Mobile Nuclei formats were co-defined in a collaborative process involving the NUCLEUS partners and other host organisations. The “Mobile Nuclei Menu” consisted of 7 formats that help inviting different partners and addressing new audiences. The format, the content and the participants varied, depending on the needs and individual profiles and contexts of each host. All Mobile Nuclei took place between November 2017 and July 2019.
The EUSEA White Book
The European Science Engagement Platform includes recommendations which were once compiled in the EUSEA White Book. In 2005 this publication was compiled by engaged and experienced EUSEA members, aiming to
- assess the state of the art of Science Communication Events (SCEs) in Europe
- summarize strategies on how to start new SCEs
- structure recommendations on how to improve existing SCEs
- collect “best practices” and valuable ideas
- enhance the Science Communication Event community in Europe
The White Book Inputs have been refreshed with new formats and toolkits that have been developed by sister institutions or EU Projects relevant to the field.
National Science Communication and Public Engagement Platforms
In designing the platform we have considered high-quality national platforms developed by EUSEA members Vetenskap & Allmänhet (V&A) and Wissenschaft im Dialog (Germany). Many of the examples mentioned in this platform are directing you to the hands-on examples these excellent platforms are showcasing: www.wissenschaftskommunikation.de and www.scicommtoolbox.se.
This is just the beginning. Bringing together ideas for science engagement is an on-going and never-ending process. We will be grateful to hear from you, your ideas, experiments in the field. Feel free to contact us, and use the new platform as a source of inspiration and information to stimulate and enrich your work in the future!