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Ecsite Directors Forum 2018

13 November 2018

Science engagement organisations as citizen labs

Science engagement organisations are agents of education, teaching and knowledge transfer, as well as places for public scientific discourse. They have the mission to inspire and empower people with science and shape the future of science engagement. They are key actors not only in knowledge generation, but also as mediators and facilitators between citizens and knowledge.

Science engagement organisations can act as citizen labs or societal interface labs, promoting Open Science with the aim of stimulating creativity and critical thinking, empowering citizens through the dissemination of knowledge, and engaging communities in the research process, in particular at city level. Open Science allows knowledge to circulate more quickly and to be more freely available, thus making science and innovation more open, collaborative and global.

Through these open science labs, committed citizens are developing solutions for complex societal challenges in which science and technology can play an important role (such as climate change, nature in the city, aging or water quality). Often working on a city scale, these citizen labs bring together and articulate the collaboration of entrepreneurs, researchers, educators, public officers and citizens. They also provide an agora space in which the societal implications and opportunities of cutting-edge scientific research can be debated in an evidence-based and democratic manner, bringing forth a greater understanding of the positive role of science in promoting the welfare of citizens, as well as a deeper awareness of the potentials of emerging technologies and research areas.

During the 2018 Directors Forum we want to address how open science labs can become an opportunity for science engagement organisations, and to present a broad range of inspiring perspectives, case studies and good practices. The keynotes, sessions and interactive workshops will address topics such as novel methodologies for involving citizens in open science, participatory mechanisms like crowdsourcing and gamification, and the value of open science in social innovation projects to tackle urban challenges, among others.

We expect this event to be of great interest to senior managers aiming to increase the impact of science communication organisations in citizens’ well-being, and keen to explore ways of sustaining their organisations’ continuing relevance in the 21st century’s knowledge society.

Programme highlights

Two keynote speakers will be sharing their thoughts on the “Science engagement organisations as Citizen labs” theme: Artur Serra, European expert in living labs and citizen laboratories and Lucia Malfent, active for an Austrian organisation advancing open innovation principles in science. The programme also entails a marketplace workshop on open science labs and their potential for science engagement and an opportunity to exchange with the Ecsite Board in an ‘un-conference’ format.

Registration is now closed. Check out the full programme.

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