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Citizen involvement makes a unique contribution to more socially grounded research priorities

Contributed by: Danish Board of Technology Foundation

A comparative analysis between the CIMULACT citizen-based research topics and expert-based foresight studies reveals that citizens’ involvement introduces more holistic and socially grounded perspectives that are lacking from many expert-based studies. This illustrates the need for broad participation when setting directions for future policy and agenda settings.

Citizen involvement makes a unique contribution to more socially grounded research priorities
While experts tend to put emphasis on technological developments when giving input to research policies, citizens point towards human- and community-centered values. This is the major conclusion of an in-depth comparative study between expert reports and 46 citizen-based research topics developed during the highly participatory CIMULACT project.

The 46 citizen-based proposals for research topics were compared by quantitative and qualitative analyses with a total of 16 foresight reports developed by experts with the aim of influencing the FP8/FP9 creation process.

Aaron Rosa, CIMULACT partner and main author of the report, explains that the CIMULACT research topics were generally well represented within the expert reports. However, while experts tended to focus on economic and technical aspects, citizens introduced human- and society-centric perspectives:

“CIMULACT research topics introduced every trend, factor, or technology with a necessary human perspective on social impact. This cannot be overstated,” says Aaron Rosa.

In this way the comparative analysis demonstrates explicit differences between the content and the intention of CIMULACT when compared to expert-based foresight reports, which according to Aaron Rosa illustrates the importance of including both expert- and citizen-based methodologies in producing policy-oriented future research:

“Experts and citizens often approach societal challenges from different angles, but one is not superior to the other - they are symbiotic!”

More information: Read the full report at




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Countries (30)

  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom


Citizen engagement, RRI, Open Science, Participatory Foresight, Horizon2020
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