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.
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.
|A special edition of DG Research's quarterly was dedicated to European attitudes on research.
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”.