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Social Impact Assessment Methods for research and funding instruments through the study of Productive Interactions between science and society

Objective

Our project aims at developing a method for the assessment of the social impact of scientific research. We review current literature including experimental studies and conduct case studies in four different fields (nanotechnology, ICT, health, social sciences) with various grades of social impact, in both national and supranational settings. Our goal is both to enhance insight in social impact assessment and to develop assessment methods. We focus on social impact of research. However, since most studies of how research has an impact on society show the crucial role of productive interactions between science and society, our prime object of investigation is the identification of these interactions. Thus, social impact is not seen as the ‘logical’ consequence of a unilinear process, but as the outcome of an iterative practice in which researchers and stakeholders each play a role. By productive interactions we mean: Exchanges between researchers and societal actors in collaborative settings (networks) in which knowledge is produced and valued that is at the same time scientifically and socially robust and relevant. Therefore, we engage in our project not only researchers and policy makers, but also other relevant stakeholders in the various research areas. Analytically, we distinguish four main tracks through which such interactions may occur: (1) through direct personal contacts (ranging from mere meetings to complex arrangements for research collaboration), (2) mediated by specific outputs like expert reports, clinical guidelines, scientific advice, or through (3) the transfer of goods (products, social practices, therapies, policy tools), and (4) through funding or other support mechanisms, in short: people, texts, artefacts and support. Our objective is in the case studies to show how these interaction mechanisms form a necessary condition for research to have a social impact.

Field of science

  • /social sciences

Call for proposal

FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2008-1
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Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSE AKADEMIE VAN WETENSCHAPPEN - KNAW
Address
Kloveniersburgwal 29 Het Trippenhuis
1011 JV Amsterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Other
EU contribution
€ 494 047,50
Administrative Contact
Jack Spaapen (Dr.)

Participants (4)

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 116 756,50
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Eusebio Jiménez Arroyo (Mr.)
FONDATION MAISON DES SCIENCES DE L'HOMME
France
EU contribution
€ 77 814
Address
Boulevard Raspail 54
75270 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Terry Shinn (Prof.)
UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE

Participation ended

Netherlands
Address
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Saskia Haagen, Van Der (Dr.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 104 684
Address
Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Kerry Chantrey (Ms.)