The current draft of the EU’s next framework programme for research and innovation is not addressing the needs to involve and engage citizens and civil society in research and innovation enough. VA has therefore encouraged the Swedish government and Swedish members of the European Parliament to act to make Horizon Europe a more citizen-oriented programme.
EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas has repeatedly expressed a vision “to connect the public to European science”. To accomplish this vision, VA believes it is important both to have a separate work programme in Horizon Europe similar to the current Horizon 2020 work programme Science with and for Society, SwafS, and to mainstream the SwafS dimensions throughout Horizon Europe.
In the current draft for the next framework programme there is no separate programme addressing the SwafS aspects: Gender, Ethics, Public Engagement, Science Education, Open Access and RRI, Responsible Research and Innovation. Such a programme, called Science, Society and Citizens, was previously included but was omitted in the Commission’s official proposal for Horizon Europe.
It is important to bring a separate programme with its own budget back to Horizon Europe, as well as to make the SwafS dimensions cross-cutting and address key issues throughout the next framework programme, in order to
- involve and engage citizens, civil society and end users in research and innovation processes.
- develop, test, measure and evaluate methods and processes for co-creation, public engagement and citizen science.
- gain understanding of how citizens in the EU understand research and whether, and how, they use research findings.
- invest in developing the knowledge society and addressing future skills needs.
- develop methods to open up science and to overcome obstacles within the EU to realise the Open Science agenda, and offer relevant training to achieve this.
There is a petition advocating for a separate SwafS programme initiated by the SiSNet project, run by the European network of National Contact Points for SwafS in Horizon 2020. We encourage you to sign it.
Read VA’s full comments on the Horizon Europe proposal.