InSPIRES webinar on Policy Work of Science Shops with Emma Mckenna and Catherine Bates

In this webinar, Emma Mckenna, coordinator of the Science Shop of the Queen’s University Belfast since 2001, and Catherine Bates, coordinator of the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Programme for Students Learning with Communities, shared with us their experiences in policy work developed within the EC funded projects PERARES and EnRRICH. They presented inspiring examples and recommendations to help to implement policy development in your own work. They shared knowledge based on learning from the wider Living Knowledge Community across the world.


InSPIRES webinar dedicated to CSOs engagement with Norbert Steinhaus

Last 9th of May we organized a InSPIRES webinar dedicated to CSOs engagement with Norbert Steinhausboard member of Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (Bonn Science Shop) and coordinator of the Living Knowledge.

Within the framework of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Open Science and Innovation, researchers are called to collaborate with different stakeholders through inclusive and participatory methodologies during the different phases of the R&I process (i.e.  during the research agenda setting, design and execution of projects, implementation, evaluation and dissemination). The project InSPIRES is exploring how Science Shops can act as an interface for RRI implementation.

Currently, those interfaces are organisations created as mediators between citizen groups (trade unions, pressure groups, non-profit organisations, social groups, environmentalists, consumers, residents association etc.) and research institutions (universities, independent research facilities). Science Shops are important actors in community-based research (CBR) and facilitate collaborative research projects based on concerns brought forward by society.

However, sometimes one of the first difficulties, specially for new established Science Shops, is to engage CSOs, to take them on board and to establish with them a win-win relationship based on trust.

In this webinar, Norbert Steinhaus, who is a board member of Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (Bonn Science Shop) since 1990 and coordinator of the Living Knowledge, shared with us his experience working with CSOs. He presentes some inspiring examples of collaborations and will give some tips to fruitfully engage with them.

Check out here the full presentation:

InSPIRES first webinar dedicated to RRI

It’s not only about selecting or “mapping” different stakeholders, is not only about involving researchers or recruiting students, “the challenge is engaging them in the process, making them feel empowered to play their part”, said Dr. Pim Klaassen to the auditorium of InSPIRES project’s first webinar on the topic of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) (January the 30th, 2018)

And the burden of that collective engagement should be on the researchers, convened Prof. dr. Jacqueline Broerse and Dr. Frank Kupper, experts that have participated in the development of the RRI conceptual framework and shared their experiences at the webinar. Organized by Prof. dr. Marjolein Zweekhorst and her team at VU Amsterdam, this webinar showed how InSPIRES project aims to build capacities among existing networks of researchers and new players.

How do new ideas travel?

For Prof. dr. Broerse, RRI is the most important way of doing research, at least that kind of research that seeks for a real impact on society. This speaker even described RRI as a way to approach to local knowledge in fragile states. For Dr. Kupper, RRI is mainly about dialogue; and for Dr. Klaassen, the framework is “a big challenge ahead of us”. Acknowledging it’s often quite hard to engage people in this open and dialogical way of doing research, Dr. Klaassen thinks on RRI as “a promise which I hope we can actually help come true”.

Unfortunately, repeating these messages does not change researcher’s attitudes. As, remembered by Dr. Kupper, ideas do not travel like packages that can be easily poured into somebody’s mind. Actors should see what’s on it for them. These research practices could meet their needs of performing good research.

Vocation and training

RRI can also activate a memory about researchers’ vocation. Many of them started their careers because they wanted to make a meaningful contribution.  Answering Dr. Zweekhorst questions, the webinar experts affirmed that nowadays, if someone can do this type of research that someone is a student. Students are in the process of developing routines and mastering these forms of thinking. Of course, experts also remembered, transformation should not only be at the individual level but also at institutional level.

The webinar also pointed out several expectations that the InSPIRES awakens.

The project’ impact evaluation strategy with the support of the “Reflexive monitoring” notion was positively valued, as well as the its training plan, that will offer new webinars and summer schools. Much to do in order to make these kinds of encounters happen.

You can see the video at this link