New publication: What are citizens’ views on public engagement with research?

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approaches share the idea that societal actors, including citizens, need to work together during the research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with society's values, needs and expectations. The paper addresses the question of what motivates or prevents citizens from participating in research dialogue processes. The paper shows that:

  • Organisers of dialogues about research aimed at the citizenry often have problems recruiting sufficient participants or ensuring a sufficient degree of diversity among participants.
  • Many of the citizens we interviewed (focus groups) showed a preference for dialogue formats in which citizens can take a more active role, such as consultants concerning research policy or research funding.
  • Our empirical results confirm earlier findings that personal interest, expected impact of the dialogues, and personal time and financial resources influence citizens' willingness to participate in research dialogues. Furthermore, they show the importance of questions of trust, legitimacy and knowledge.

The paper presents empirical results from the EU-funded project Promoting Societal Engagement Under the Terms of RRI (PROSO).

Dreyer, M., Kosow, H., Bauer, A., Chonkova, B., Kozarev, V. and Timotijevic, L. (2021). ‘Public engagement with research: Citizens’ views on motivations, barriers and support’. Research for All, 5 (2), 302–19.