A global perspective on the role of funding agencies in public engagement with science
Michael Ellis – NRF SAASTA. South Africa
Research funding agencies have an important role to play in creating an enabling environment for broader communication and engagement with scientific research. The Global Research Council is a virtual organisation, comprised of the heads of science and engineering funding agencies from around the world, dedicated to promote the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality collaboration among funding agencies worldwide. In 2019 the participants endorsed a State of Principles on Expectations of Societal and Economic Impact and the statement lists 18 key principles in addressing impact expectations and assessing and evaluating the impact of research from the perspective of funding organisations. Building on this statement of principles, the Global Research Council has undertaken to utilise its networks in its five global regions to assimilate best practice information and case studies of how research funding agencies are shaping and transforming the science and society interface. This assimilated information seeks to further guide and strengthen the research funding agencies role in widening participation in research to realise research for all. This paper will present a series of global case studies and a statement of principles on public engagement with science, as endorsed by the Global Research Council, of which the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African Agency for Science and Technology (SAASTA) are active participants.
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