786   Roundtable discussion

Engaging the Public through Open Science - Putting theory into practice

The drive towards Open Science means ensuring that citizens are involved in research, and that the views of different stakeholders are taken into consideration when shaping science agendas and research projects. But putting this into practice is not always as easy as it might appear in theory. So how can researchers, policy makers and research funding bodies successfully engage with the public, and ensure that citizens" values and interests are taken into account when shaping research agendas?

This session will showcase a range of innovative methods and activities for engaging the public in the research process through Open Science from around Europe. Examples include co-creation formats and methodologies, citizen science approaches, gamification, and public and multi-stakeholder dialogues on topics ranging from genome editing to sustainability. It will also draw upon insights from a number of studies across Europe investigating public attitudes towards research and public interest in getting involved in science. Discussion will focus on the challenges of widening participation in research and ways to overcome these plus how to adapt activities online to support virtual engagement. All participants will also be able to share their own views and experiences of putting open science into practice.

The session will start with short introductory presentations from each speaker on the different innovative public engagement activities performed and the conducted surveys. This will be followed by group discussions with the participants around the following questions:

- What are the challenges of public engagement with science?
- How can the public be involved in science; what methods/solutions can be used and which are the drivers?

All participants will be able to share their own views and experiences in the roundtable discussions providing a broad international perspective. Participants will first discuss each of the questions and the findings will be reported into Mentimeter, an online tool that enables the results to be displayed instantly. The results will then be discussed in plenary and can be incorporated into action plans on how public engagement activities can lead the way to make science and research more open and inclusive.
 

Author: Helen Garrison
Vetenskap & Allmänhet , Sweden

Speaker: Maria Hagardt
Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA (Public & Science), Sweden

Vetenskap & Allmänhet is a Swedish non-profit organisation whose purpose is to promote dialogue and openness between researchers and the public. VA organises many events and activities aimed at stimulating dialogue between researchers and the wider society, and develops and tests new formats for dialogue and public engagement. Since 2009, VA has been running annual mass experiments, in which thousands of members of the public and schools participate in real research projects in collaboration with researchers. Topics have included food waste, light pollution, biodiversity, and digital source criticism. Maria will highlight examples and learnings from the mass experiments as well as draw upon VA's experience in many other national and European open science and citizen science projects.

Speaker: Emma Martinez
Babraham Institute, United Kingdom

The Babraham Institute is a life sciences research institute based in the UK and is one of 9 partners in the Horizon 2020 ORION Open Science project. The aim with the ORION project is to explore ways in which research and funding organisations in life sciences and biomedicine can open up the way they fund, organise and do research. Activities include citizen science projects, co-creation experiments, public dialogues as well as gamification. In addition, ORION has been researching open science knowledge and practices and public attitudes to getting involved in life sciences research. Emma will showcase the different methods and activities explored in engaging with the public and the possible impact of these activities.

Speaker: Pedro Russo
Leiden University, Netherlands

In the Citizen Science Lab at Leiden University, researchers, citizens and societal organisations co-develop innovative research projects to create new scientific knowledge for science and society. Pedro will draw upon his vast experience of citizen science to highlight examples of how Leiden University has been engaging citizens in the co-creation of knowledge. In addition, he has been involved in setting up Open Science Hubs in 8 countries across Europe to connect science, technology and innovation with the daily lives of local and regional communities, by addressing community relevant challenges, in collaboration with multiple stakeholders. Open Science Hubs are funded by H2020.

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