The POIESIS Focus Groups Report

The POIESIS Focus Groups, a major survey that took place in the 7 Consortium countries (Denmark, UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Greece) with the participation of dozens of research and science communication experts has been completed. The discussions were extremely interesting in each of the 21 Focus Groups held, with the influence of the wider social context of each country evident in most of them and led to some very interesting findings.

Most of the participants suggested that there is no general crisis in trust in science; however, increasing, and complex challenges related to trust between science and society were identified. Questionable or detrimental research practices, irresponsible science communication, “disruptors”, and the influence of private and political interests are some of the main factors contributing to these challenges.  

Additionally, while participants were relatively divided on the effects of public engagement in science, they agreed that fostering a culture of participation requires a mobilisation of all actors in the ‘chain of mediation’: non-institutional actors in science communication are already involved, but other actors, especially institutional ones, should play a more active role in supporting the development of participatory projects by the scientific community.

Finally, regarding the role of institutions in promoting social integrity and social integration, the idea that each scientific organization should be able to systematically identify the conflicting moral imperatives to which it subjects its staff seems to be an essential task. But it is important to stress that these institutional actions will remain ineffective if they are not coordinated at both national and European levels.

You can read more about our Focus Groups by reading the Focus Group Findings: Exploring Institutional Roles in Fostering Public Trust in Science (D3.2) document here.

POIESIS at the 12th SciComPT Congress

POIESIS-PT team attended the 12th Congress of SciComPT, which took place at University of Minho, in Braga, May 8-10.

The team presented two talks. In the talk “The role of scientific institutions in public involvement in science: voices from institutional stakeholders” the team presented the main findings of the Focus Groups with Institutional Stakeholders, which took place in Lisbon in February 2024. This talk discussed the need to reinforce the capacity of science communication offices with resources to establish long-term relationships between scientific institutions and society.

In the talk” Science communication by scientists in Portugal”, the team discussed perceptions of researchers working in Portuguese research institutions and universities about their role in science communication and how this may affect public’s opinion and trust in science.

SciComPt is the Portuguese Science and Technology Communication Network, aiming to promote science communication in all its aspects, to promote exchange between Science Communication professionals as well as the informed participation of citizens in all issues involving Science and Technology.