VA’s Secretary General Cissi Askwall recently joined Communication Directors from 18 Swedish Universities on a trip to London to learn more about the work of organisations involved in science communication. One of them was the British Science Association, a sister organisation to VA.
In November, the Swedish Government presented its new research policy bill ‘Collaboration for knowledge – for society’s challenges and strengthened competitiveness’. The bill looks at the direction of research policy with a ten-year perspective. Strengthening collaboration between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), society and business is a key theme, with the bill explicating stating that “science-society interaction will be enhanced, promoted and rewarded”, a move that is welcomed by VA (Public & Science).
VA’s citizen science project, the Notice Board mass experiment, has won an Open Knowledge award for the Best Open Science Initiative. The Open Knowledge Awards have been launched by the non-profit organisation Open Knowledge Sweden and were awarded for the first time in a ceremony at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm on 2 December.
Each year, the Engage conference in the UK brings together delegates interested in public engagement in Higher Education institutions. The 2016 conference theme was ‘inspiring innovation’. VA (Public & Science) contributed to the programme with a workshop on RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation), together with University College London (UCL).
Anita Pettersson, whose job at the University of Borås involves researching how phosphorus can be recycled, has won the 2016 Swedish Researcher’s Grand Prix and the title of Sweden’s best science communicator. Anita’s presentation captivated both the audience and the expert jury at the final in Stockholm.
Mistra Urban Futures, the Swedish centre for sustainable urban development, has won the first European Foundations Award for Responsible Research and Innovation (EFARRI). The Award recognises research projects that have successfully incorporated RRI practices that align research with the needs of society and actively contribute towards the development of a smart, inclusive and sustainable society.
The new version of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Toolkit www.rri-tools.eu has now been released, supported by a community of more than 800 individuals and institutions from all over Europe. This open online platform was launched by the European RRI Tools project to help research and innovation actors across Europe work in a more social, ethical, and sustainable way, a requisite in many European funding calls.
Open science, what it means in practice and how it can be embraced in Sweden was the theme of VA (Public & Science)’s annual conference held on 12 October in Stockholm. The conference attracted over 200 delegates interested in finding out more about open science and the opportunities that it offers.