Author:Niklas Gudowsky (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Paper short abstract:
The paper presents findings from the EU-project CIMULACT which engaged more than 1000 citizens in 30 European countries, along with a large variety of experts, stakeholders and policy makers in a highly participatory foresight process to integrate different types of knowledge into shaping research agendas.
Paper long abstract:
Results of futures studies are often controversial, divergent or even contradictory; thus, they become contested. In addition, expert anticipation beyond short-term prediction is highly arbitrary since technological innovation is rapid at present in complex socio-technical systems, sometimes resulting in unforeseeable results and conflicts. Against this background, it may be alleviating to change the perspective by asking how the future should look like, instead of merely providing descriptive but often deterministic or linear models of the socio-technical change. Such a normative approach may then serve as a stimulant for contemporary discourse on governing innovations actively.
The presented project CIMULACT - Citizen and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon 2020 - aims at shaping EU as well as national science, technology and innovation policies through agenda setting based on societal needs and directed at the grand challenges. Citizens create visions on desirable futures in 2050. Then, after eliciting overarching social needs inherent to the visions, research program scenarios are co-created in an inter- and transdisciplinary setting, which are then tested, enriched and validated in a second consultation phase using participatory on- and offline methods in 30 European countries. Afterwards stakeholders, researchers and policymakers will transform validated results into policy options and possible research topics for Horizon 2020. Conclusions will provide insights into evaluations of this highly deliberative dialogue between science and society as well as its results, both on the methodological level as well as content wise.
Citizen science: Beyond the laboratory