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Science & governance

The aim of governance and scientific advice is to get more people and organisations involved in shaping EU policy.

Everyday, there are new developments in scientific research, which could improve our quality of life. However, the policy-making process does not always deal properly with assessing risks, or with taking public concerns into account.

Setting guidelines on the use of expertise

A set of guidelines is being established to make scientific expertise more accountable, and to maintain the confidence of everyone involved in the process.

Involving citizens in dialogue and participation

To give a clear message that science is at the service of society as a whole, high profile "Science and society" forums with scientists and concerned citizens will be supported at local and regional level. The European Commission will start the ball rolling at community level with a "European Science Convention" in 2005, which will involve the widest possible range of stakeholders. Participatory processes helping citizens and their representative associations to voice their hopes and concerns in the field of science and technology will be stimulated throughout the European Research Area, notably through exchange of experience or direct support.

Scientists internet networks - SINAPSE

The European Commission is setting up a network called SINAPSE (Scientific Information for Policy Support in Europe), which will put science at the service of policy development, It will begin work in 2003, and has a number of different functions. It will develop an electronic library of scientific opinions and advice which will give public authorities seeking expert advice on scientific issues, the opportunity to check whether any work has been done on the subject; it will enable the Commission to conduct informal scientific consultations. It will give the scientific community and other stakeholders the chance to initiate discussions on potentially contentious scientific issues. Finally, it will provide a secure network for discussions between scientists.

Giving advice on research

The European Research Advisory Board is a high-level independent advisory committee, made up of 45 top experts from EU countries, which provides advice on the design and implementation of EU research policy. It focuses on realising the European Research Area, and on using policy instruments such as the Community Research and Development Framework Programme.

The impact of scientific advice on crisis management and the role of the media

Real crises, hot subjects, attitudes or even worries about science and technology: the public relies mostly on the media to learn, analyse and form an opinion. Thus the need to bring out good practices in civic cooperation and in communication of scientific information.

Papers from the conference Scientific advice, crisis management & Media that took place in June 2003.

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