CIPAST Newsletter September 2006

The quarterly CIPAST newsletter is the additional information tool to the CIPAST Discussion list and the Forum Debate with its brief information and ongoing discussion with reports and articles that represent the current situation of participatory procedures in Europe. Please find below the contributions to the current issue of the CIPAST newsletter.

There is a pdf version of the newsletter you can download here (417 kb).

The next issue will be published in November 2006. Please feel free to contribute.

Table of Contents



Please read the abstracts of the contributions below:

How to design and organize public deliberation

70 Participants in first CIPAST Workshop From June 26th to 28th, 2006, the CIPAST consortium therefore organized a training workshop at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden, Germany, on citizen participation in science and technology. 70 participants from 23 countries informed themselves about the state of the art of public participation in science and technology, listened to concrete experiences from different European countries, and took part in productive and stimulating discussions. The workshop training activities included general lectures but also special sessions, using participatory exercises:


Back to Brussels

CIPAST: M. Galiay, you attended the first CIPAST Training Workshop on public participation in science and technology in Dresden. What are your main impressions? Philippe Galiay: I have been very favourably impressed by the organisation of the workshop and by the diversity and quality of the attendance. >>more


Deliberative Citizens’ Debates in science centers and museums DeCiDe is a simple and affordable tool to conduct deliberative debates in museums, schools, pubs and even at home. No speakers or experts are needed, as the participants use a kit of cards which contain all the necessary facts and information. >>more


Nanopublic, a two years project which started April 1st 2006, aims at setting up
a platform of exchange and transdisciplinary investigation between the swiss
nanotechnology stakeholders such as researchers in physical sciences,
biomedicine and social sciences, firms, policy makers, NGOs and citizens. >>more


Science communication survival kit

The European Commission has published a ‘survival kit’ to help scientists communicate their activities to the public more effectively. With issues such as bird flu and global warming regularly hitting the headlines, improving the public‘s understanding of science is increasingly important. Furthermore, where research has been publicly funded, people may be interested to know how their taxes are being spent. ‘Communicating Science: A Scientist‘s Survival Kit‘ delves into the world of science communications, and teaches scientists how to reach out to the public and compete for their attention. Combining general theories with tricks of the trade, the kit provides useful information on how to plan communications activities; explain complicated research in simple terms and use different forms of media.

Communicating Science: A Scientist‘s Survival Kit‘ can be downloaded from:

Citizens’ Conferences - An User’s Manual
In 1998 in France about fifteen citizens came to a conclusion about the advisability of introducing genetically modified organisms (GMO) into the food of the French and their agriculture. The traditional debate between experts and decision makers was no longer sufficient to settle such a significant question of general interest. So they published a series of recommendations and thus made it possible the public discussion to take a new form.
It was the first French Citizens’ Conference. This publication recalls the history and the implementation of this methodology. In the theoretical introduction the authors study in particular the respective merits of

representative democracy and of participative democracy. In the users’ instructions they very precisely describe the course of the citizens’ conferences. This work wants to plead public discussions so that the participative democracy accompanies the transformation of the elective democracy to the profit of a new model of freedom.
Conférences de Citoyens – Mode d’Emploi, by Dominique Bourg and Daniel Boy. Edition Charles Leopold Mayer, ISBN 2-84377-107-2, 18€ (in French).

Psci-com - Intute

A guide to quality Internet resources on public engagement with science and technology
psci-com is a gateway to evaluated, quality Internet resources relating to public communication of science, public engagement with science and the interpretation of science in society. It is aimed at science promotion practitioners, scientists wishing to communicate their science to lay audiences, researchers, science educators and anyone with an interest in science and society. The web site also provides a calendar of events, a monthly bibliography of relevant articles and new additions from the library at the Wellcome Trust and a link to the psci-com electronic discussion forum.
psci-com is affiliated to BIOME/RDN (The Resource Discovery Network, the UK‘s free national gateway to Internet resources for the learning, teaching and research community) but it is developed and managed by the Wellcome Library at the Wellcome Trust. In contrast to search engines, the RDN gathers resources which are carefully selected by subject specialists in our partner institutions. Psci-com recently has become part of a new online subject resource called Intute. and

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