VA (Public & Science) is a Swedish non-profit membership organisation that works to promote dialogue and openness between researchers and the public.

VA’s members consist of some 80 organisations, authorities, universities, companies and associations. In addition, it has a number of individual members. The organisation was founded in January 2002 and is funded through membership fees, project grants and a grant from the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research.

VA’s Main Aims

1. Increase collaboration between researchers and the public

2. Increase knowledge and dialogue about:

  • Public perceptions of research and research needs
  • Prerequisites for research, research methods and results
  • Methods for science communication

3. Be a leading knowledge hub for public engagement and science communication

4. Strengthen all aspects of engagement with society; democratic, cultural as well as for the benefit and education of society.

VA’s projects

VA carries out studies and surveys with the aim of increasing knowledge about the relationships between science and society at large. This includes an annual VA Barometer into the Swedish public’s general attitudes towards science and researchers as well as more specific studies into societal groups such as journalists, teachers and the business community.

VA arranges many events and activities aimed at stimulating dialogue between researchers and the public in new ways and in novel arenas. It is the Swedish national co-ordinator for European Researchers’ Night, the annual European science festival. As part of European Researchers’ Night, VA also runs the Researchers’ Grand Prix, a science communication competition for researchers, and mass experiments in schools, which engage pupils in real research. Activities also include science cafés and media seminars for scientists

VA also undertakes advocacy work to inform and influence research policy at a national and international level and is co-ordinator of a Swedish advocacy platform for Science with and for Society activity in Sweden. VA is currently a partner in two European projects: ORION that is exploring ways in which research and funding organisation in life sciences and biomedicine can open up the way they fund, organise and do research, and SciShops that aims to expand the European Science Shop ecosystem. Read more about our projects.

VA in Europe

VA is an outward-looking organisation engaged in projects with many European partners and organisations. Read more about the experience and expertise that we can bring to partnerships. VA is also a member of ECSA (European Citizen Science Association), ECSITE ( European network of science centres and museums) and EUSEA (European Science Engagement Association). Many reports and report summaries are available in English. Everyone working at VA has excellent English skills and will be happy to answer any questions about VA’s work or discuss potential future collaborations.

Four times a year VA issues an international newsletter in English. Sign up to receive it by email here.

View our member organisations and see our Board of Directors.

You can read more about VA and its goals in VA’s information folder.

For further information please contact

Cissi Askwall, Secretary General of VA