The POIESIS Focus Groups Report

May 24, 2024

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.

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