Title: Interfaces Between Science & Society
Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing
Publication Year: 2006
JRC N°: JRC33694
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC33694
Type: Books
Abstract: This book presents the main ideas, discussions and findings of the workshop on Interfaces between Science and Society. Organized by the Knowledge Assessment Methodologies group of European Commission’s Joint Research Centre it was held in Milan on November 2003 and was attended by more than 120 people working in this research area. This book has been written by the organisers of the breakout sessions of the workshop, who are leading academics in their fields. Research on the interfaces between science and society has been a growing area. That is the direct consequence of the evolution of how science has pervaded public life and of how society is becoming an active participant in that changing role of science. A new conception of knowledge appears to be emerging, based on awareness of complexity, uncertainty and a plurality of legitimate perspectives. Democracy is extending into the previously quite exclusive scientific realm, and science must submit to public scrutiny and participation in the appropriate ways. This means that the public is starting to get engaged in the process of governance of knowledge. A reflection on the methods and tools for knowledge quality assurance, namely on its inputs to extended policy and decision-making processes, is needed. Contributing to the overall improvement of the interfaces between science and society is the ultimate objective of this book. Discussing what is going on in the following six themes was the methodology adopted by the workshop and provides the structure of this book. We have: how to communicate among plural perspectives; accepting and learning how to manage uncertainty, complexity and value-commitments; acknowledging new conceptions of knowledge; implementing transparency, openness and participation in science policy; valuing community based research and; exploring how new ICT can support inclusive governance. These are emerging themes providing a framework on how to conceive, discuss, and evaluate the changes that are occurring. The chapters will cover theories, practices, approaches, experiences, ideas and suggestions for us to move beyond “talking the talk” to “walking the walk”. A fruitful dialogue is its main added value, as different chapters look at different dimensions. If some ask for more, others ask for a reflection, but all acknowledge that science and policy interfaces are dynamic processes needing to permanently redefine themselves and their roles. This book contributes to the enrichment and deepening of our understanding of these important new trends in the social relations of science, which are fundamental to our understanding of what and where are the prospects for further progress.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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