EXARC has been part of several Horizon 2020 project ideas. Where H2020 is mainly a research and innovation programme of the EU, it has a clear element in it to ensure the engagement of European citizens. The current proposal for the follow-up programme, Horizon Europe, does NOT have this.
We therefore urge the European Parliament to make important changes in the proposal for Horizon Europe and the inclusion of science engagement (citizen’s engagement and a bottom-up approach) in its communication approach. In addition, the new Horizon Europe programme draft does not, contrary to the current Horizon 2020 programme, have a Science for and with Society (SwafS) specific strand.
Together with ECSITE and NEMO, EXARC believes that a reaction from the museum sector is necessary. Cultural heritage has been quite prominent and successful in the last Horizon 2020 programme and we need the citizens’ and bottom-up, inclusive, collaborative aspect in the next programme. After all, who would be better to connect research and other academic activities with citizens than our institutions, the museums?
The current proposal relies on a top-down communication approach where the research and innovation results are “delivered” and “explained” to citizens; but research shows that such top-down approaches are inadequate to address current societal issues such as fake news, fear of new technologies, or pseudoscience. More than information, dialogues are urgently needed.
These are the amendments we suggest:
- A strong science engagement approach in Horizon Europe
- A specific strand on SwafS with a budget of at least the level of Horizon 2020 (€460 million)
- A stronger integration of formal and informal education as well as a stronger integration of social sciences and humanities to tackle science and society relations issues.