CIPAST Newsletter April 2007

Dear reader!

This is the sixth issue of the CIPAST newsletter. This quarterly newsletter provides news on the situation of participatory procedures in Europe and news about the CIPAST project and its members.
The next CIPAST event is getting closer. We would like to invite you to join the second CIPAST training workshop in June in Naples, Italy, and share your expertise and experience. The call for contribution, we launched in December, led to 10 case studies we would like to deal with in problem-solving exercises with the participants. A huge variety of posters will complete the presentations.
And please have a look at the CIPAST database on participatory processes and actors, which is now accesible via the CIPAST website.

Yours sincerely,
Norbert Steinhaus, Editor

You can download a pdf of this newsletter here.

The next issue will be published in June 2007. Please feel free to contribute.


Table of Contents
• How to design and organize public deliberation
   2nd CIPAST - Training Workshop
• The CIPAST database

European Citizens’ Consultations: Making citizens’ voices heard in the
  debate about the future of Europe
Budapest Science Café
• Community X-Change: The European Citizens’ Panel: A pilot initiative to
  collect citizens’ opin-ions on the future role for rural areas in tomorrow’s

Too few meetings between Politicians and Researchers
The 3rd Living Knowledge conference 


How to design and organize public deliberation?
2nd CIPAST training workshop including public events,
June, 17th - 21st, 2007, Naples

The CIPAST consortium invites you to join the second training workshop on ‘How to design and organise public deliberation’ in Naples, Italy, from June 17th to June 21st 2007. Registration is possible until April, 27th, 2007.

Besides the exchange of experience and expertise and much scope for establishing contacts or consolidating networking, the workshop will present the state of the art knowledge on public participation in science and technology and will refer to concrete experiences in European countries.

After introductory lectures the participants will work on concrete case studies, offered by the CIPAST consortium but also introduced by the participants. The call for contribution in December 06 led to 19 posters and 26 case studies. Ten case studies have been accepted for detailed problem-solving exercises during the workshop on issues raised by these case studies. They will now be prepared in detail. Information about the case studies will be available on the CIPAST website by the end of May. But for not losing impor-tant input and offering time and space for questions and discussion, the con-tributors whose case studies have not been selected, were asked to adapt their case study for a discussion in the Open Space session and therefore to prepare a poster. The CIPAST website will be regularly updated with information about the workshop (posters, speakers, case studies and preparatory material).


You can find more information about the workshop here.



The CIPAST Database

The CIPAST platform intends to support the structuring of an expanded network of European organizations already involved or interested in participatory processes regarding scientific and technological issues. With this objective in mind, the CIPAST consortium decided to set up a database, in order to facilitate knowledge and information transfer between the members of the network.

The link to the CIPAST database  can be found here on the CIPAST website. If you are interested to be listed in the database you are kindly asked to fill the registration forms on the CIPAST website. For further information, please contact the database manager at or the webmaster at


European Citizens’ Consultations
Making citizens’ voices heard in the debate about the future of Europe

The European Citizens’ Consultations are the first-ever pan-European debate to involve citizens from all 27 Member States of the European Union into the de-bate about the Future of Europe. A carefully crafted process design allows them to deliberate across the boundaries of geography and language. The selec-tion procedures ensure that citizens are randomly selected while reflecting the diversity of the EU’s population. Professional stage and group facilitation smoothes the exchange of opinions among citizens and lets them develop their ideas regarding the future of Europe. Simultaneous and interlinked events across Europe allow citizens to share and enjoy a truly European experience. A transparent and accountable follow-up ensures that the citizens’ ideas are communicated to policy-makers and that citizens are informed about what happened to their input and what happens next. The objective of this project is to engage citizens ...


Budapest Science Café

The Science Café in Budapest is a place where famous British thinkers and researchers come together to lecture and create sparkling debates over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. >>more

Community X-Change

The European Citizens’ Panel: A pilot initiative to collect citizens’ opinions on the future role for rural areas in tomorrow’s Europe
The global objective of the European Citizens’ Panel is to encourage a bottom-up contribution from citizens to the discussion on the future of European poli-cies affecting rural areas. The initiative aims to create a mechanism that will enable European citizens to draw up and disseminate proposals on the future of rural areas in Europe, based on comprehensive and unbiased information provided by decision-makers, experts and stakeholders.



Too few meetings between Politicians and Researchers

Politicians are not making use of important research results. This is one con-clusion from an extensive three-part study carried out by the Swedish organisa-tion Vetenskap & Allmänhet (VA) into Swedish politicians’ attitudes to science and researchers.

The study involved a survey of national and local politicians, an analysis of science-related material in political party magazines and those of their youth organisations, and a book “Kunskapsbiten”, in which 18 politicians and re-searchers give their views on the relationship between politics and science. To download a complete summary of these studies in English click here.

86% of politicians believe that medical research has a great influence on the development of society. This is followed by technology and natural science (72%), whilst for humanities and social sciences the figure is only 39%. The policy areas most influenced by research results, according to politicians, are health, the environment and energy.
Three out of four politicians seek out scientific research information in or-der to support political decisions. But paradoxically politicians seldom look for research information within the areas they believe to be most influential. Most fregquently they make use of research results from the social sciences and the humanities. This can possibly be attributed to the fact that politi-cians often have a social science background, and so find information in other subject areas harder both to find and to understand. These figures are also reflected in the content of party-political magazines, where there are practi-cally no articles concerning medicine, technology or natural science.
Almost all politicians have great trust in researchers at universities and three out of four extend the same level of trust to researchers at companies. Politicians believe, to a clearly greater extent than the public, that there is a good chance that research will help to increase economic growth and slow down climate change.

Three quarters of politicians think that researchers should communicate more with the public about their research. The majority of politicians have research contacts and report positive experiences of these contacts. The internet however remains politicians’ main source of information.
The results also point to the fact that politicians and researchers speak dif-ferent languages, have different perspectives and meet far too rarely.


It is clear that researchers and politicians need new ways of interacting and new meeting places, as well as easy-to-read information on research. Together these measures can help to drive the two worlds closer, and to make research easier for politicians to access and understand.
For further information please contact Karin Hermansson, Research Manager at VA, , tel. +46 8 611 3047, .


The 3rd Living Knowledge conference
‘Communities building knowledge: innovation through citizens’ science and uni-versity engagement’ will take place in Paris from 30 August 30 until 1 September 2007.

The conference will provide a forum where information on community based research, carried out in both community and academic settings, on new forms of partnerships between research and civil society and on new modes of innovation, can be shared and developed. It aims at disseminating and exchanging in-formation on community based and participatory research, on citizens’ science and cooperative innovation. The conference themes are:
· University engagement with communities
· Citizens’ science and social movements
· Research policy - from local to global
· Innovation and citizens - added values for communities
· Participatory processes in science and technology

Registration for the conference is open now!
Registration forms, detailed descriptions of the themes are available on the conference websites. (French
, English, or at the web-site of the International Network of Science Shops)
You can also submit a proposal for a contribution (workshop or presentation) within on of the five conference theme’s. At the conference website you will find an overview of topics that can be addressed in the theme’s. The deadline to submit a proposal is April 30, 2007.
For additional information about the conference you can contact

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