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Science at the service of Europe

Science in society

Uniting all for science in society

Europe 2020 challenges can only be tackled effectively if every societal actor is fully engaged to provide solutions for European challenges and advance research and innovation.

EU funding in 2011
€ 45.86 million

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Each stakeholder must try to foresee how their actions fit into the broader picture and what social, environmental and economic consequences these actions will have.

To this end, the Science in Society (SiS) programme acts on relationships between societal actors involved in scientific exploration process. It also provides a framework for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

In 2011, SiS enhanced and implemented the 2010 strategy for developing an RRI framework. As mentioned, the first and foremost aim of SiS is to shape a comprehensive governance model for RRI, providing innovators with the guidance they need to take ethical, health, safety, environmental and human rights considerations into account. An additional programme focus is to foster policy-making expertise and promote more transparent and accessible research. Furthermore, SiS supports the integration of a gender dimension in science and innovation to promote female scientists.

A recent expert report investigated the reasons behind the low participation of women in research at all levels. This report showed that in FP7 women account for 20.3% of scientific contact persons, with SiS having the highest proportion at 40%. The report made recommendations on how to increase female participation. Furthermore, financial support is awarded for implementing gender equality action plans and training provided to promote gender equality in all FP7 fields.