Through the VOICES EU funded project, a thousand citizens from all over Europe have been involved in a large-scale, structured participation initiative to contribute to the priorities of the new “Horizon 2020” framework programme of the European Commission. Through this consultation, which I have coordinated, 100 focus groups (3 hours long, with 10 participants each) have taken place in 27 European countries, held mainly at science centres/museums and conducted by experienced moderators. Outcomes have been analyzed by an experienced academic research team, and over 350 ideas in the field area of the consultation (waste management) have emerged from the citizens, concerning environmental sciences and technology, as well as policy, education and communication issues. The outcomes have been presented to the European Commission, which has for the first time implemented citizens priorities in the preparation and definition of scientific research calls (in the field of waste management). Social research has been used to foster a real social innovation process, and results from the consultation are being integrated in the policy making process of the European Commission. In the presentation, all the steps of this innovative and breakthrough initiative will be presented, along with the results of the focus groups analysis - going from its rationale, to the methodology and the results, as well as the role of science centers and museums in this context.

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Citizen participation in european scientific policy making

Marzia Mazzonetto   VU University Amsterdam, Belgium

Through the VOICES EU funded project, a thousand citizens from all over Europe have been involved in a large-scale, structured participation initiative to contribute to the priorities of the new “Horizon 2020” framework programme of the European Commission. Through this consultation, which I have coordinated, 100 focus groups (3 hours long, with 10 participants each) have taken place in 27 European countries, held mainly at science centres/museums and conducted by experienced moderators. Outcomes have been analyzed by an experienced academic research team, and over 350 ideas in the field area of the consultation (waste management) have emerged from the citizens, concerning environmental sciences and technology, as well as policy, education and communication issues. The outcomes have been presented to the European Commission, which has for the first time implemented citizens priorities in the preparation and definition of scientific research calls (in the field of waste management). Social research has been used to foster a real social innovation process, and results from the consultation are being integrated in the policy making process of the European Commission. In the presentation, all the steps of this innovative and breakthrough initiative will be presented, along with the results of the focus groups analysis - going from its rationale, to the methodology and the results, as well as the role of science centers and museums in this context.

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