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Monitoring Ideas Regarding Research Organizations and Reasons in Science

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Mirroring society's knowledge effectively

A better understanding of the relationship between science and society and how this affects different European research settings is vital for Europe to achieve its goal of becoming a more competitive knowledge-based society and economy. A European study investigated this matter further.

Climate Change and Environment

A group of researchers set out to help Europe achieve this ambitious undertaking, first discussed at the 2000 Lisbon meeting of European leaders. The 'Monitoring ideas regarding research organisations and reasons in Science' (Mirrors) project is coordinating and analysing the relationship between science, politics and society as seen in recent decades by philosophers, historians and sociologists. The project is bringing together scholars and researchers from different countries to study the relationship between science and society in different national and international contexts. The team is formulating recommendations for science policy based their findings. It is also examining how the so-called Lisbon Strategy is encouraging a knowledge-based society as well as efforts at democratising decision processes concerning research and development. The project has identified an imbalance between science policy means and ends. The imbalance lies in promoting policy strategies that meet the needs of the private industry sector more than those of society. In more detail, the project found that the needs of private industry and general society are artificially balanced, as the system equates economic wellbeing with social wellbeing. This implies that economic wellbeing would be sufficient to achieve social wellbeing, which is not necessarily the case. Thus, the researchers are stressing the need to adjust policy strategy so it addresses the needs of both private industry and civil society. In other words, the project finds that economic growth and competition can go hand in hand with promoting the interests of general society and the environment. This would help elaborate an epistemological approach that connects the needs of society with economic growth. The project's aim is being achieved by devising a multicultural approach to support a policy of scientific innovation based on democratic choices, creativity and exploitation of talents. Through this approach, the project is also helping promote trust about science, reinterpreting topics such as techno-scientific innovation, expertise, creativity, education reform and specialisation. It is then formulating recommendations for regulating these areas by setting environmental sustainability as a strategic goal. To ensure this, the project took on more members from the general public and benefiting from their feedback as well. Mirrors project has emerged with valuable recommendations embracing industrial, environmental, and social solutions based on sustainability. This could yet be the most formidable approach to mirror the true nature of a new Europe.

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