Public engagement (PE) refers to activities where there is a distinct role for citizens or stakeholder groups in research and innovation processes. The concept of PE alike thinking of science in society generally, has evolved from information dissemination toward more interactive and consequentialist models. In our previous research we studied how „participatory performance‟ varied between 38 European countries. In this paper we start a critical discussion on the factors that contribute to participatory performance at the level of research programmes and projects. Different contextual factors are relevant there, and we observe that criteria such as flexibility and reflexivity are important features of programme design supporting an active culture of PE. To counter an instrumentalist tendency of PE development, it is important to keep on speaking of the purpose and problem solving capacity of PE. Finally, we identify a number of specific areas for further research contributing to resolving paradoxes of effective PE. 

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Participatory performance in research program context

Saule Zviniene Maciukaite   Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Center, Vilnius University International Business School, Lithuania

Mikko Rask   National Consumer Research Centre Finland Academy of Finland Post-Doctoral Researcher Fellow

Public engagement (PE) refers to activities where there is a distinct role for citizens or stakeholder groups in research and innovation processes. The concept of PE alike thinking of science in society generally, has evolved from information dissemination toward more interactive and consequentialist models. In our previous research we studied how „participatory performance‟ varied between 38 European countries. In this paper we start a critical discussion on the factors that contribute to participatory performance at the level of research programmes and projects. Different contextual factors are relevant there, and we observe that criteria such as flexibility and reflexivity are important features of programme design supporting an active culture of PE. To counter an instrumentalist tendency of PE development, it is important to keep on speaking of the purpose and problem solving capacity of PE. Finally, we identify a number of specific areas for further research contributing to resolving paradoxes of effective PE. 

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