Want to engage for societally engaged research and innovation?

Rationale for our activities in the pilot action “The future of science?Society?”

We already know that there will be no continuation of the current Science with and for Society (SwafS) programme in the next framework programme Horizon Europe. The SwafS programme fosters the “new paradigm” for research and innovation, which is to bridge the gap between science and society at large, or to put it simply, to strive for “engaged research and innovation”. In this sense, SwafS is the conceptual knowledge base for the “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI) approach. Additionally, the way RRI is being promoted in Horizon Europe is very likely to change. Actually, the way it is being mentioned in the most current draft, leaves a lot of room for interpretation. However, this does not at all have to be a bad development, it is rather a chance to become active.

What we do:

We engage in activities together with other actors, which help to organise public debate and support around these issues:

Pathways Declaration

The Pathways petition for RRI in Horizon Europe was initiated by the SwafS-projects RRI Practice and NUCLEUS and co-drafted by NewHoRRIzon. It is open for signatures (by individuals). Closed and running FP projects, many of them also taking part in our social lab activities support the declaration.

Further project consortia who want to support the declaration, should contact the initiators Ellen-Marie Forsberg (RRI Practice project, emf (at) ostfoldforskning.no) or Alexander Gerber (Nucleus project, ag (at) hsrw.eu).

Pathways Declaration puts forward 7 ideas for a truly transversal design of Horizon Europe, meaning that spaces for societally engaged research and actions, which used to take place in the SwafS programme shall be embedded in the future in the programmes of Horizon Europe, for example in the societal challenge programmes and in the mission-oriented programmes. Such projects shall have clear budgets assigned to them, which regard engagement activities not as dissemination, but as research. Accordingly, evaluation of these actions shall put far more emphasis than today on the engagement of SSH research and of quadruple helix actors.

Call for participation in the public consultation

The public consultations on Horizon Europe are open until September 8th, 2019.

Together with other groups, we have worked on an analysis in order to better understand which lines of argumentation might be useful to support the future of today’s Science with and for Society programme, RRI, open science, engaged research and innovation, the involvement of societal and third sector actors in research and innovation, and of science-society relations in more general. We will provide more information as soon as possible.

Please find all information how you can take part and supporting material here.

We express our support for other activities going on at the moment, e.g.:

  • ESCITE is promoting an open letter to Carlos Moedas to include science engagement in Horizon Europe
  • The Sis.Net petition for a new SwafS programme is still open to signatories.

In the pipeline: Scenarios for alternative futures of science-society relations

How will the embedding of science in society look like, when a programme like SwafS dissappears or will be revived in the future? What kind of difference does it make to the outcomes of research and innovation activities when concepts such as the engagement of publics, openness, ethics and gender equality enrich the processes of knowledge-making? What if societies take new routes in science education?

Scenarios can be a powerful illustrative communication tool and spark debates about which future we think is desirable for embedding science in society.

Scenario development is planned for autumn 2019.

Core Pilot Action Group Members

Michalis Tzatzanis: Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Vienna, Austria.
Danielle Shanley, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Norbert Steinhaus, Science Shop Bonn, Germany.
Maria Hagardt: Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA, (Public & Science), Sweden.