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Headlines Published on 19 February 2007

Title Commission launches call for analysing public perception of science programmes on European TV and radio stations

The European Commission’s DG Research has launched a call for project proposals aimed at gathering data and providing an analysis on how European citizens perceive the science and research programmes offered to them on TV and radio. The call, which is set to close on 23 May, comes under the Science in Society rubric in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and is part of the new ambitious audiovisual policy of the Research Department. This call will fund research investigating the ways the general public in Europe perceives, enjoys or dislikes current audiovisual science programmes. Findings will be broken down according to subjects’ nationality and socio-economical background, as well as their expectations in this area.

A special edition of DG Research’s quarterly was dedicated to European attitudes on research. © Matt+
A special edition of DG Research’s quarterly was dedicated to European attitudes on research.
The European Commission wants to improve public awareness of science among the largest number of European citizens possible, including young people, and mass media are an important tool in achieving this goal. Various public opinion polls, such as the different Eurobarometers, show that efforts undertaken in the past years have been effective in reducing the public’s scepticism of some politically contentious research areas, and have restored a degree of confidence in European research and research policy makers.

But more effort has to be put into informing a larger part of the European public and make young Europeans interested in scientific careers. The Directorate General for Research is therefore looking for partnerships with audiovisual professionals to identify innovative formats and content which will attract more people to science programmes.

The call, published on 22 December 2006, is an initiative related to this new policy. 2006 saw a pilot phase launched by DG RTD with calls for proposals for audiovisual co-productions on science. The first results were encouraging, but the European Commission wants a more precise analysis of the current audiovisual offering and of what exactly it is Europeans like and expect when watching TV and listening to radio.

The analysis resulting from Call 1 will lay a solid foundation for subsequent FP7 calls for proposals on audiovisual co-productions to be launched in 2008.

In addition to these activities, the Directorate General for Research is developing a partnership with the pan-European information programme “Euronews” via the research magazine Futuris, launched in 2006.

In addition to this specially designed call in the Science in Society work programme, the Communication Unit of DG Research has gone to great lengths to make research and policy as widely accessible to the public as possible, in line with its mission of “Communicating European Research”.

More information:

  • Science in Society Call
  • Descartes Prize for Communication
  • Communicating European Research
  • Star FP projects as seen on TV (EuroNews Futuris)

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