Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

COMSCIENCE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 230470
Funded under: FP7-SIS
Country: Germany

Bridging the gap between science and society

European citizens are getting closer than ever to learning about key scientific topics that affect their lives — from stem cell research to obesity. A recent EU initiative has made great strides in this respect.
Bridging the gap between science and society
Research on all fronts is very valuable for the EU's future, but it must be disseminated and exploited effectively if it is to improve the well-being of society. The EU-funded project 'ComScience Network: Providing added value to EU research dissemination efforts at regional level' (COMSCIENCE) aimed to further the use of science knowledge by fostering understanding on the place of science and technology in society. The initiative involved promotion of public debate in life sciences, as well as exchanges and cooperation among local actors with respect to scientific culture.

To achieve its aims, the project shared information on EU research results with local communities in various European countries. It reached out to the general public and to schools through 25 events that covered the interests and concerns of European citizens, from stem cell research and genetically modified organisms to obesity and food contamination.

Teaming up with eight organisations in science communication from Belgium, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the project fostered the exchange of know-how and best practices among stakeholders across the bloc. It developed a new strategy for participatory-driven science events, elements of which can be viewed on the project website.

The project's actions have led to harmonisation of scientific research in many ways, such as recognising ethical issues in molecular genetics or sharing information on ethical, legal and social aspects of science. COMSCIENCE has also helped encourage young people's interest in science and science studies, reaching out to policymakers and bringing experts closer to society as well.

An important project outcome is a set of recommendations on enhancing the widespread dissemination of European research in local settings while respecting regional differences and needs. The project has clearly contributed to the spread of understandable science in society, articulating methodologies that will help European nations achieve this aim. By bringing life sciences closer to people, COMSCIENCE has helped create conditions for a more innovative, competitive society.

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