Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

ESCITY — Result In Brief

Project ID: 30266
Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY
Country: Spain

Promoting science in the city

An EU-funded initiative has made the first steps towards gathering support at city and regional government level for promoting the integration of science in society.
Promoting science in the city
Despite the progress made since the European Commission launched its Science and Society Action Plan, a chasm between science and society still remains. This is in large part due to a lack of focus by cultural agendas on the promotion of scientific culture. As such, there is a need to garner greater support — at institutional levels as well as those closest to the citizen, i.e. municipal levels — for raising the profile of science as an integral part of modern society.

Besides, most actions are implemented at a national level while the municipality is the closer administration to citizens and, probably, the most flexible in incorporating new public engagement tools. The 'Europe science and the city: Promoting scientific culture at local level' (Escity) project sought to address such issues by working to create a network that brings together European social researchers as well as regional and local governments to exchange information and best practices. The project's core focus was on developing strategies to incorporate the promotion of scientific culture within city and regional cultural policies.

Escity aimed to bring together a mass of cities and social research bodies that as a formal network could lobby local governments and offer guidelines on ways to boost science culture in Europe's cities. This would also serve to guard against fragmented research, overlapping initiatives and lost efforts in this area.

A proposal was put forward to broaden the scope of the Escity network to include cities and local or regional governments willing to commit to the promotion of science culture as a means of stimulating city or regional development. It was further agreed that promotion of knowledge-based industry would have to take place at the levels of science culture and communication.

Escity partner participation in related international events offered great potential for sharing the goals and progress of the emerging community, as well as for attracting potential new members. Advances in this area represent a major step forward in recruiting local governments ready to implement related actions and become part of a Europe-wide community that fruitfully debates such an important issue.

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