CIPAST Newsletter April 2008

Dear reader!
Citizen participation is carried out in various arenas and by organizations belonging to unlinked families of actors raging from parliamentary technology assessment offices, through science museums, Science Shops, research institutes and academic teams, to civil society organizations such as NGO’s or patient associations. Facing the challenges of structuring the European research area, in April 2005 the project ‘Citizen Participation in Science and Technology’ (CIPAST) was initiated. Within a 3 years period 12 organisations and institutions from 7 European countries worked on structuring a European platform for exchanging knowledge and experience concerning participatory procedures.
The full text with findings and recommendations will be available on the CIPAST website by mid May and we invite you to discuss it with us on the CIPAST discussion list

Yours sincerely,
Norbert Steinhaus, Editor

You can download a pdf-version of this newsletter here (259 kb).

Table of Contents

Projects News
  • CIPAST in Practice
  • Participatory Activities in Nano-technologies
  • The CIPAST project as a case study of a European network project
  • Best practice, ideas and strategies - Proceedings of 3rd Living Knowledge Conference

World Wide Views on Global Warming

The Danish Board of Technology and the Danish Cultural Institute has initiated a global project, in which citizens world wide will be asked about their views on global warming and climate policy. The main objective of ’World Wide Views on Global Warming’ is to give citizens around the world the possibility to contribute with their views on some of the key issues addressed at the United Nations climate summit COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, in order to influence the negotiations and the future of global climate policy. The overreaching purpose is to demonstrate how citizens from all over the world can become an important and relevant part of political decision-making processes on a global scale. Around 100 citizens from each of the participating countries will meet in their own countries to engage in a structured dialogue aimed at answering an identical set of question. The dialogue will be informed by well-balanced information material. Scientific experts, political decision makers and a diverse range of other stakeholders will be invited to contribute to the formulation of both the questions and the information material.

The face-to-face citizens consultations, the WWViews, will be carried out in the participating countries almost simultaneously and a few months before the COP15, which is taking place from 30 November to 11 December 2009. The results will be gathered and presented continuously for comparison on a public homepage as the results from the different WWViews are reported.
The questions asked at the WWViews will make statistical comparison of the answers in different countries possible, but - contrary to the usual questionnaires - the method will also allow citizens to motivate and qualify their answers, thus making a qualitative enquiry possible into the reasons and arguments that has lead to a specific answer. The project is organized by the newly established WWViews Alliance, which embraces different kinds of partners who will actively support the project. Some can do so by undertaking national WWViews, others by contributing to media work, fundraising, communicating the results in policy-making arenas, being ambassadors for the project, or simply write support letters. Partners from 10 different countries have already joined the WWViews Alliance and 10 more are in the course of deciding. Throughout the remaining part of 2008 potential partners will from all over the world will be invited to join the WWViews Alliance.

The project method is unique and is developed on the basis of the experience gained by The Danish Board of Technology and other members of the WWViews Alliance from a series of different methods engaging citizens in political decision-making processes. It will further developed in 2008 and in 2009 the questions and the information material to the citizens will be formulated and finally The WWViews will be carried out world wide up to the COP15.

The Danish Board of Technology will manage the project within the framework of the WWViews Alliance, established and coordinated by The Danish Board of Technology and The Danish Cultural Institute. For a description of the WWViews Alliance structure, please use the link below.

More detailed information about the project can be found in the projectdescription at the DBT's website or by contacting the project managerBjørn Bedsted.


CIPAST in Practice
CIPAST case-study based training package now online
CIPAST activities have confirmed that training for public participation in science and technology has to be considered as a multiple objective aim: as training activity before (and for) the implementation of a public participation initiative but also as an offer to get informed about public participation in general – and not being directly targeted to the translation into training action. CIPAST therefore has decided to put case studies at the core of its training and to focus on a process of active and participative learning.
CIPAST in Practice now provides elementary sets for teaching and learning which are based on ‘real life case studies’ and which can be used and re-assembled by potential users . The given tools are completed through information resources about designing participatory procedures experts, literature and additional experiences.
All case studies presented in this training package were developed by involving actors and users. All case studies were tested in training sessions in two international workshops 2006 and 2007.
Open CIPAST Training Package
You can order a free CD of CIPAST in Practice from Norbert Steinhaus, or make use of the training offers here at the CIPAST website.

Participatory Activities in Nanotechnologies
CIPAST Nano Newsletter
A special edition of the CIPAST newsletter - prepared by Nicolas Baya Laffite at INRA/TSV - provides on 35 pages a summary of 60 participatory processes in nanotechnology governance in countries where they have developed significantly as a result of political initiatives. Our first aim is to give access to data as complete as possible – although not exhaustive – on individual participatory experiences in nanotechnology. The gathering of this information allows to put these individual experiences into perspective and to open a discussion on the roles of public participation, so far in different national and regional political contexts.
You can read and download the pdf of the newsletter (1.5 MB) here.

Best practice, ideas and strategies
Proceedings of the 3rd Living Knowledge conference
More than 330 people from more than 50 countries joined one or more of the 18 sessions of the 3rd Living Knowledge conference, with its nearly 100 oral presentations, and explored the more than 30 posters, watched the videos, and discussed at Open space workshops. The conference also included two sessions on participatory processes in science and technology. And there have been much more proposals for presentations which gave the organizers the difficult task to accept and refuse. A documentation of the conference with detailed papers, its presentations, posters, pictures and videos is under preparation and will be available by the end of January 2008. To get an impression of the conference you can already have a look at some pictures and a conference video at

The CIPAST project as a case study of a European network project
A paper presented by Chloe Alexander, University of Padova, Faculty of Political Science, in collaboration with Observa-Science in Society ( DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY AND TECHNOSCIENTIFIC INNOVATION - NEW PROCEDURES OF PARTICIPATION IN A EUROPEAN NETWORK PROJECT addressed the question of whether the funding of European network projects under the Framework programmes of the European Commission is working to further European Integration between member states by harmonizing economic, social and cultural practices.
The second question Chloe Alexander raised was, whether the Commission is succeeding in dealing with the issue of deliberative participation methodologies in the area of science in society by setting up projects like CIPAST to offer assistance to member states by building platforms for exchange within the EU.
Her conclusions were drawn from interviews taken from representative experts from nine partner organizations during the 2007 Procida Workshop. The effectiveness of the CIPAST project, the network structure of the project and the developments of deliberative democracy in the different member states were discussed. The conclusion confirms that the two goals of the European Commission are being reached through the funding of the CIPAST project and network.
You can download the study here and contact Chloe Alexander by mail

ETHICSCHOOL Innovates Techno-Ethics Education
Two summer schools in 2008
Ethicschool organises two summerschools on ethics of emerging technologies. Both will present a mixture of lectures by leading researchers with remarkable visions on ethics of nanotechnology or converging technologies; workshops where all participants should contribute to the debate on responsible technology development; and masterclasses where young researchers are welcome to table their strategy for investigating techno-ethics for discussion with keynote speakers and other participants. ETHICSCHOOL is a Specific Support Action funded by the European Union under Framework Programme 6, Science and Society programme. Visit their website for up-to-date information.

24-29 August 2008: Ethics of Nanotechnology, University of Twente, Netherlands
The summerschool on ethics of nanotechnology will focus on short to medium term developments, related to current research in nanotechnology research programmes and networks worldwide. A visit to the MESA+ research institute for nanotechnology of the University of Twente is foreseen.

21-26 September 2008: Ethics of Converging Technologies, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
The summerschool on ethics of converging technologies will focus on longer term visionary trends and ethical considerations of different combinations of nanotechnology, biotechnology, Information and Communication Technology and cognitive or neurosciences converging on the nanoscale.

E-learning tools on techno-ethics
During the summer schools, students and professional from all over the world can view high quality e-learning materials in nanoethics and ethics of converging technologies online via the website Afterwards, the e-learning tools will be made available to lecturers wishing to use them in their own courses on ethics of science and technology.

Contact: Ineke Malsch,,

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