PLACES - Platform for Local Authorities and Citizen Engagement in Science
PLACES facilitated a three-way conversation between science, policymakers, and society in Europe. It resulted in a vision for science policy at the city level and hundreds of interconnected local networks. The project aimed to create or amplify local connections between science communication actors, policymakers, scientists and citizens. 70 science communication institutions, 10 regions, and 23 countries established local partnerships and developed forums for the exercise of citizenship in science-related matters. Annual Conferences, Science Cities Workshops, training opportunities, and Thematic Working Groups brought PLACES stakeholders together in a united effort to give shape to the concept of the European City of Scientific Culture. City Partnerships with similar thematic interests connected through the project’s many networking opportunities including workshops, annual conferences, and the online PLACES OPEN platform.
Contemporary societies rely on science and technology for economic growth, political stability, social well-being, and progress. Science influences everything we do as human beings. Yet, the interaction between science, politics, and citizens is frequently insufficient and sometimes non-existent. Policymakers must be able to easily gather scientific information they need to make informed decisions. Citizens need to understand how science and society are linked and be able to provide input in science-related decisions. There must also be a dialogue between citizens, scientists and politicians to fully grasp the personal and social behavioral changes required for living in the 21st Century. Environmental sustainability, aging populations, healthcare, social security, drinking water, agriculture, biodiversity, transportation, clean energy, education policies, innovation for economic growth – this is only a snapshot of the topics inextricably linking science to society.
The project was coordinated by Ecsite, and implemented together with Eusea, UPF and ERRIN.
ERRIN formally engaged its member cities and regions in science communication through key-concepts and activities designed for PLACES. ERRIN was responsible for the European policy recommendations.