As the EU relies on science, technology and innovation to secure its present and develop its future, reflecting on and anticipating societal impacts arising from current narratives embodied in EU policy is essential to ensure trust among citizens.
President Juncker’s inaugural guidelines call for deepening of dialogue between society and European institutions, stating that “The social market economy can only work if there is social dialogue” and vowing to be “a President of social dialogue”.
The JRC would like to put these words into practice in the ongoing science-policy interface debate. There is an area of scholarship, known as Science and Technology Studies, which provides the tools and methodologies to reflexively look into the promises science and technology can offer, and the narratives that sustain them; these tools are by design inclusive and collaborative, enabling a deeper involvement of society in science’s and technology’s affairs.
Through the application of political science, social research, media analysis, ethics and knowledge assessment, the JRC, as the European Commission's in-house science service providing independent scientific advice and support to EU policy, can provide the space for critical scrutiny of knowledge that supports research and innovation policies, in addition to sustain the Commission’s principle of responsible research and innovation.
The JRC is committed to the deepening of the interfaces between science and society. We are creating spaces for dialogues to take place. Through the development of an Engagement Hub, comprising both a virtual and a physical space, we are developing and practicing current ideas of public engagement in science and technology, co-design and co-production.
Through actual installations and platforms, this Hub will organise citizen participation in debates about innovation, namely in the discussion of ethical, cultural, social and political issues in techno-science research and innovation policy, but also on experiential modes, taking stock of Do It Yourself (DIY) science movement and citizen science.