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The standard for European citizen consultations on scientific communication coordinated by the University of Valencia has been published

  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
  • November 19th, 2020
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The CONCISE consortium, a collaborative research project made up of nine institutions from five European countries, coordinated by the University of Valencia, has published the standard that sets out the organisation process of the five citizen consultations carried out to find out the role it plays scientific communication in the knowledge and perception of European citizens on science topics.

The sessions, in which 500 people participated, took place between September and November 2019 in Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal. An attempt was made to find out what are the perceptions and attitudes of citizens towards science, what information channels are used to find out about it and what influences opinions and decisions about science. The main researcher and head of CONCISE in Europe is Carolina Moreno, professor of Journalism at the University of Valencia and researcher at the Research Institute on Social Welfare Policy (Polibienestar), who together with Isabel Mendoza and Empar Vengut, has coordinated the volume.

The book consists of six chapters, dedicated to each of the five citizen consultations and which also includes the pilot consultation that took place in Barcelona, in March 2019, and that served to validate the questionnaires and questions that would be asked in the other consultations. In Spain, the consultation was held on October 26, 2019, at the Botanical Garden of the University of Valencia, with the participation of 103 people. Each chapter describes the procedure for recruiting participants, the communication campaigns, as well as the training tasks for volunteers and facilitators.

It also describes how each of the consultations was planned, the scripts used in the different activities, and the model of informed consents that the participants and facilitators filled out. The aim of the publication is to serve as a standard for developing similar participatory process activities.

One of the essential aspects to guarantee the success of the project has been to ensure that a sample of society as diverse as possible participated in each consultation. For this reason, the communication campaigns developed during the months prior to the consultations were of fundamental importance. Thus, taking into account the particularities of each country, in each of the chapters of the book each research team has collected the most relevant details of the organisation of the consultations.

“This first publication on the citizen consultations held in the autumn of last year in the five European countries is a very useful standard for other consortia or institutions that wish to carry out citizen consultations or participatory activities. This standard makes it possible to identify all those aspects that must be taken into account when you ask people to voluntarily dedicate their time to share their points of view and concerns on scientific issues”, highlighted Carolina Moreno.

According to the UV researcher, “due to the number of elements that must be harmonised, citizen consultations in person have not been very recurrent. Right now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it will be very difficult to predict when we will again gather so many people together for any activity. When it is possible to do so, we will have this guide to be able to follow all the necessary steps to be able to mobilise and involve so many people”.


CONCISE project

CONCISE is funded by the Horizon 2020 (‘Science by and for Society’) program of the European Union, whose main objective is to build new avenues of cooperation between science and society. CONCISE’s multidisciplinary team is led by the University of Valencia and also has the Spanish participation of the Centre for Science, Communication and Society Studies of the Pompeu Fabra University, FyG Consultores and the Spanish Association for Scientific Communication. CONCISE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement number 824537.


Download the book:

CONCISE project website.

ScienceFlows research group website.