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Hephaestus Result In Brief

Project ID: 229825
Funded under: FP7-REGPOT
Country: Greece

Science in society for harmonious integration

An interdisciplinary team of researchers in science, philosophy and history joined forces to boost efforts to better establish science in our society.
Science in society for harmonious integration
Recognising a strong need to re-establish science in society and engage its wide range of stakeholders, the Programme of History, Philosophy and Didactics of Science and Technology (HPDST) brought together two interdisciplinary teams from Greece to conduct advanced related research. The team has since evolved into one of south-eastern Europe's most promising research teams and has been identified as an excellent regional research unit. However, a number of weaknesses hamper the exploitation of its full potential to contribute to regional sustainable development through science and society activities.

To strengthen the HPDST, funding was granted under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for the 'Hellenic philosophy, history and environmental science teaching under scrutiny' (Hephaestus) project. To expand HPDST activities in the areas of history, philosophy and didactics of science and technology (S&T), the team focused on immobilised human resources, a lack of experience in public science communicating and museology, and the establishment of strategic partnerships with the international community.

Improvements in these areas aimed to enhance the team's research capacity, initiate collaborations with centres of excellence in Europe, intensify dissemination of research results to specialists and the general public, and establish close collaborations with local socio-political authorities.

Hephaestus signed seven long-term international cooperation agreements and created four international networks — one of which was recognised as a UNESCO network. The Antikythera mechanism exhibition, on ancient Greek technology, was an international success: it was presented in eight European countries. Other accomplishments include the launching of a state-of-the-art Internet portal (, publication of thematic books and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and the development of new research fields constituting a team of global reference.

Scholar exchanges, the recruitment of senior researchers, and the organisation of a series of international conferences and workshops all also contributed to achieving project objectives.

As such, Hephaestus activities have had a significant scientific and socioeconomic impact in its areas of interest. Furthermore, the outcomes have wider societal implications thanks to extended sharing of scientific and cultural knowledge and enhanced dialogue between societies with different cultural histories and traditions. Such progress will make a major contribution to the integration of south-eastern Europe into the EU.

Related information

Record Number: 90133 / Last updated on: 2013-01-14
Domain: Environment
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