Author: Satu Lipponen – Cancer Society of Finland, Finland

Think tanks are a part of the active stakeholders participating in discussion about science. They often help in building up the so-called ‘echo chamber’ with reports and other interventions in the public sphere. Think tanks are used to influence both media and public opinion. Industry-supported think tanks blur people’s opinions with science. This is a challenge for policy makers, media and science journalism.

The aim was to identify existing and new schemes typical of the think tanks close to industries, with a special focus on how the tobacco industry tactic of discrediting science evolves. This was done by comparing the rhetoric used in published reports and publicity operations in three cases. According to preliminary results think tanks are actively used to influence public opinion. Basic rhetorical stratagems include criticism of regulation, strong support for freedom of choice, and the separation of state from free market economy mechanisms. In Europe, there seems to be an ongoing attack against civil society aimed at strengthening anti-science attitudes.

It is important to bring into public discussion how think tanks are funded and what sort of agenda they have in public. Journalists of specific interest in research, scientific methods and medical topics are critical stakeholders. More coverage is needed of industry ties to think tanks, as the public and journalists are not aware of these connections.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Show, tell and talk
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Influencing policies through science communication

Author: Satu Lipponen – Cancer Society of Finland, Finland

Wolfgang Goede – Free lance science journalist
Mikko Myllykoski – Science Centre Heureka
Orlando Werffeli – Annexio Ltd

This workshop puts the focus on the audience. It explores ways to increase collaborative knowledge production. Can we learn from mistakes and turn them into innovations?

1. Confession Session – What if instead of listing your successes you reveal your worst mistakes? Join a ‘Confession Session’ where we share learning from mistakes – our own and those of others. Honest peer learning boosts professional identity and bridges generations. Mistakes are not a problem; learning from them is. Let’s maximize the learning process. The throwable microphone (Catchbox) will make this participatory session dynamic, enjoyable, and therapeutic.

2. Can serious be fun? – Engaging researchers in conferences is a challenge, so let’s throw in a few disruptive novelties. We can add collaborative elements to meetings to increase knowledge sharing and to strengthen policy implementation. Innovation/ Implementation Labs are deliberative exchange structures in face-to-face meetings. The aim is to exercise problem solving together and find the best policy options to apply.

3. How to increase collaboration in online meetings? – The future of our working habits looks promising: we’re spending less time in offices or in transit, and more in the field – doing the work that matters. So let’s make sure we use technology to our full advantage and not lose the human factors of meeting face-to-face. This active 10-minute session will increase your virtual toolkit, equipping you for the most collaborative and constructive meetings you’ve had.

Presentation type: Workshop
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Influencing policies through science communication