We have assessed whether science communication in Portugal can evolve from being one-way and indirect, to becoming two-way and direct. We organized a pioneering weekend conference between scientists of a Portuguese research institute and the public of the local town, based on the Danish model of the consensus conference. The lay panel set the agenda for the conference, guided the proceedings and prepared a consensus report that was assessed by the scientists’ panel. The evaluation and outcomes of the weekend conference suggest that two-way, direct communication between scientists and the public is possible. Its findings shall be used to introduce public dialogue in science in Portugal.
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