The POIESIS Focus Groups around Portugal

April 8, 2024

Another round of interesting discussions about Trust in Science

The Portuguese POIESIS team, led by Professor Marta Entradas and supported by Dr. Inês Sousa and Dr. Feng Yan, has just wrapped up an insightful focus group study to investigate questions of research integrity in universities and public trust in science!

These engaging discussions with institutional stakeholders, happened in February 2024, in Lisbon, with two sessions hosted at Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa and one conducted online. With a total of 20 institutional stakeholders participating, the discussions were moderated by three local co-investigators.

The focus group delved into the crucial topic of building trust in science and here are the main discoveries:

Participants widely agreed that public trust in science remains high in Portugal. There isn't a crisis of trust, but there's growing scrutiny of the scientific process among an increasingly informed and educated public. Science communication plays a vital role in shaping this perception.

From the participants' viewpoint, discussions on integrity in science are starting in Portugal and are much needed. They emphasized the importance of training in integrity practices, well-defined guidelines, and effective communication to foster a culture of open science and responsible research practices.

Participants discussed the need to increase the proximity between scientists and society by using new and attractive tools to communicate science. Who are the emerging voices in science? Looking ahead, exploring new mediators beyond scientists and science communicators could be fascinating.

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