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Q: What specific research activities will be undertaken as part of the Science and Society programme?
A: The research activities supported by the Science in Society theme are organised along three overarching Action Lines:
First Action Line: A more dynamic governance of the relationship between science and society
Activities under this action line will focus directly on social needs and interests. They will also move from the current modes of citizens’ (public) involvement as consumers of research findings, to richer forms of engagement of citizens and of organised civil society in research and research based policies. In the first year of the Seventh Framework Programme, this entails the need for capacity building of civil society organisations (as newcomers on the research scene), the initiation of new forms of partnerships between researchers and others actors through ‘co-operative research’ and preparatory actions to develop science and technology studies at European level. In the overall context of ethical issues in Europe and internationally, there is a continuing need to consider ethics in the fields of research, new technologies, science and academia in a global context, in relation to governance issues, taking full account of the opinions and concerns of European citizens. This work is closely associated with the implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Second Action Line: Improving potential and broadening horizons with respect to issues of gender and science education
The objectives of this action line are twofold:
a) To boost gender equality in research, through stimulating the participation of women in science and technological development; and fostering the integration of the gender dimension throughout European Research. This will be done both through gender mainstreaming the Framework Programme and through specific activities. Furthermore, the role of men in realising progress towards gender equality in science will be examined more closely with a view to better understanding the mechanisms involved, and measures to encourage men to participate actively in promoting gender equality in science will be envisaged. Attention will be given to raising awareness within the scientific community, in the general public and among policy makers. Benchmarking and monitoring will continue to underpin the whole range of actions undertaken.
b) To contribute towards the Lisbon agenda by increasing the number of young people from all backgrounds entering careers in science, research and technology and, by raising the general level of scientific literacy, to increase awareness of the societal impact of science.
Third Action Line: To promote effective two-way communication channels that enable the public to engage with science and vice versa. vice
Activities under this action line will contribute to addressing the ambiguous feelings expressed by citizens regarding the potential benefits from science and technology. They will also help fight the perceived isolation of the world of science from the everyday realities of Europeans by promoting effective two-way communication channels: providing a wider public with more scientific information and enabling the public to engage with scientists.
A specific focus will be given to the role of the media in this regard, who will be approached in their role as one voice of society’s expectations, concerns and interests. A closer dialogue with them will be promoted, including the exchange of best practice between scientists and media professionals. In addition, some of the funded activities will be requested to provide the public with tools to express its views on science.
FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) , Science in Society