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Dublin – 16 July 2012 At the ESOF 2012 conference The European Science Foundation’s (ESF) dedicated Member Organisation Forum (MO Forum) on ‘Science in Society Relationships’ has released its latest report: “Science in Society: a Challenging Frontier for Science Policy”. The report has called for a strengthening of ‘Science in Society’ (SiS) activities in a time of ambiguity for science.
Society has changed much (and is still changing rapidly) under the influence of science and technology. But it seems that, following the endeavour of growth after the Second World War, science now finds itself in an ambiguous situation. On the one hand, research promises a better future, yet on the other, new criticism arises from many sides and provokes a decrease of trust in science by the public.
The latest report aims to highlight the role of science in society, to raise awareness of how scientific knowledge is translated into society and to encourage better practice in the relationship between science and society. In order to achieve a better society and increase the quality of research and innovation, the MO Forum offers several recommendations:
Professor Jean-Pierre Alix from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) declared: “An effective knowledge-based society requires greater interaction with, and awareness of, research opportunities and initiatives across all sectors of society. Researchers should be acutely aware that these activities are valuable in developing science for the future generation.”
Detailed in the report is the MO Forum’s deliberations, survey, case studies and data analysis which provides substantial evidence that even though much is being done, there is a great need for major efforts for improved, dialogue-based interaction between researchers and society. Furthermore there is a need to build greater joint networks to maximise SiS’s reach. In a time where future challenges for science include smart cities, the environment, renewable energy and modes of transport, the report also encourages better, balanced SiS practices. It outlines that researchers should be rewarded for their efforts and the need for more experiments and greater methods of sharing knowledge in this area should be promoted.
Dr. Camilla Modeer from the Swedish Organisation Riksbankens Jubileumstond said: ‘We recognise that the recommendations of this Member Organisation Forum will need to be implemented on a long term basis, but this should in no way detract from their importance. To meet the new challenges arising in science in Europe and across the world, each of our Member Organisation’s are committed to developing new SiS activities in their own way, depending on context, remit and impact’.
The recommendations contained within the report are aimed at helping ESF’s member organisations develop the governance of SiS relationships further. Full details of the report can be found here http://www.esf.org/publications.html.
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact
Tom Reast, Kaizo
+44 (0) 207 3176 4721
The European Science Foundation (ESF) is an independent, non-governmental organisation that promotes collaboration in scientific research, funding of research and science policy across Europe. Its members are 72 national funding and research-performing organisations and learned societies from 30 countries. www.esf.org
About Member Organisation Forum
An ESF Member Organisation Forum is an output-oriented, issue-related venue for the Member Organisations, involving other organisations as appropriate, to exchange information and experiences and develop joint actions in science policy. www.esf.org/activities/mo-fora