Poiesis Project

Probing the impact of integrity and integration on societal trust in science.

POIESIS project brings together seven partners from across Europe, who will study the impact of research integrity issues and societal engagement practices on trust in science.

As societal dependence on sound scientific research and responsible innovation has become increasingly visible, concerns about public trust and mistrust in science have simultaneously been mounting. This highlights the crucial importance of the cultural authority of science. The debate about societal trust in science is characterised by three intuitively appealing assumptions:

  • First, that trust depends on scientists’ capacity to demonstrate high standards of research integrity and ethics, and that breaches of research integrity will lead to mistrust

  • Second, that citizens’ and civil society’s involvement in co-creating research agendas and content makes research more relevant and responsive to society and consequently strengthens trust.

  • Third, that institutions can foster integrity and societal integration by enabling and supporting researchers to act responsibly.

While these assumptions seem plausible, supporting evidence is scarce and inconclusive. In POIESIS, we therefore aim to question and study these assumptions. POIESIS’ research objective is to understand how and to what extent societal trust in science, research and innovation is affected by the alignment of research practices with principles of research integrity and by the integration of citizens and societal stakeholders in different phases of the research cycle.

The project brings together six European partners: Aarhus Universitet (Denmark), Wissenschaft im Dialogue (Germany), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Instituto Universitario de Lisboa – ISCTE (Portugal), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Inversigaciones Cientificas (Spain), and one associate partner: London School of Economics (United Kingdom).