Shared visions, common research futures
“We need to think beyond Lisbon, we need to think in the long-term and make decisions which will be in line with a long-term approach. This is not present enough in today's daily discussions”. This was the message Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik gave during the dissemination conference “Key Technologies for Europe” in September 2005. The Commissioner also welcomed the recommendations of the report of the expert group on 'Key Technologies for Europe', agreeing with the conclusion that Europe must develop a research agenda 'beyond the Lisbon strategy'. An overview of the conference main results as well as the outcomes, conclusions and recommendations of the work of the expert group “Key Technologies for Europe” is given in the first part of this issue.
This issue of the newsletter also refers to a new expert group on “The future of key research actors in the ERA”. The group was launched in 2005 with the purpose to contribute to European RTD policy with a view to a better performance and effectiveness of the European Research System.
“Cognitive science is undoubtedly the most ambitious scientific enterprise of the XXIth century. To what extent and at what pace it will turn out to meet its goals, what amount and depth of knowledge it will produce as it moves ahead, these are matters for debate” wrote the philosopher Daniel Andler in his report “Cognitive Science” in the framework of the work of the expert group 'Key Technologies for Europe'. The European Foresight Monitoring Network (EFMN) organised a workshop on “Cognitive Science” in September 2005. The underlying idea was to bring together experts from the Cognitive Science Community with those from the Foresight Community in order to exchange ideas and share experiences on where strategic policy support is going.
The fourth part of this issue relates to the location of “Foresight” within the Socio- economic Sciences and Humanities Programme in FP7 and how it was approached during the international European Conference “Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe: new challenges, new opportunities”, organised by the European Commission in Brussels, on 12-13 December 2005. The potential role of Foresight in building a vision for Europe emerged from the different sessions. “Foresight is not just about discussing possible futures, it can also be about discussing desired futures and how to achieve them. This might be a way of negotiating universal values”, Yehuda Elkada suggested during the conference.