Engaging the Public through Open Science – Putting theory into practice

Engaging the Public through Open Science – Putting theory into practice

Author: Helen Garrison – Vetenskap & Allmänhet, Sweden


  • Maria Hagardt – Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA (Public & Science), Sweden
  • Emma Martinez – Babraham Institute, United Kingdom
  • Pedro Russo – Leiden University, Netherlands

The drive towards Open Science means ensuring that citizens are involved in research, and that the views of different stakeholders are taken into consideration when shaping science agendas and research projects. But putting this into practice is not always as easy as it might appear in theory. So how can researchers, policy makers and research funding bodies successfully engage with the public, and ensure that citizens” values and interests are taken into account when shaping research agendas?

This session will showcase a range of innovative methods and activities for engaging the public in the research process through Open Science from around Europe. Examples include co-creation formats and methodologies, citizen science approaches, gamification, and public and multi-stakeholder dialogues on topics ranging from genome editing to sustainability. It will also draw upon insights from a number of studies across Europe investigating public attitudes towards research and public interest in getting involved in science. Discussion will focus on the challenges of widening participation in research and ways to overcome these plus how to adapt activities online to support virtual engagement. All participants will also be able to share their own views and experiences of putting open science into practice.

The session will start with short introductory presentations from each speaker on the different innovative public engagement activities performed and the conducted surveys. This will be followed by group discussions with the participants around the following questions:

– What are the challenges of public engagement with science?
– How can the public be involved in science; what methods/solutions can be used and which are the drivers?

All participants will be able to share their own views and experiences in the roundtable discussions providing a broad international perspective. Participants will first discuss each of the questions and the findings will be reported into Mentimeter, an online tool that enables the results to be displayed instantly. The results will then be discussed in plenary and can be incorporated into action plans on how public engagement activities can lead the way to make science and research more open and inclusive.

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

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Transformation