Citizens and science advice event at ESOF in Toulouse, France

As part of the Euro Science Open Forum 2018, this session will explore ways of engaging citizens at different stages during the development of science advice, in particular on questions which are of direct concern to civil society (such as climate change, health and environment-related issues, digital rights and cyber security). This session has been jointly organised by SAPEA and the SAM unit and takes place at 10.15-11.30 on Wednesday 11 July as part of the Science Programme.

Speakers from the Scientific Advice Mechanism and other science advice bodies will  discusses experience and lessons learned drawing on the experience of SAM and other science advice structures, and aims at identifying best practice. This includes an interactive discussion with the audience on new ways of bringing science advice and citizens closer together.

Further information on the session and speakers can be found below:

If as some say, we have had enough of experts then is there a future for expert science advice to policy makers? If facts are a turn-off, can we ever really engage the public in the process of evidence informed decision-making, and is it even feasible? Eurobarometer surveys suggest that most Europeans believe that science will help society face its most pressing issues in the next 15 years. So why for example are vaccination rates declining? And why are so many other scientific achievements and recommendations so contested?

To be trusted and accepted by the public, science advice must be based on the core principles of transparency, integrity, independence, accountability and excellence. This session will examine if and how credibility, acceptability and impact of science advice can be strengthened by involving citizens, rather than treating them as passive recipients. How can different actors help to bring science advice and citizens closer? Can digital and social media help? Different structures delivering science advice to governments, including the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors (SAM), science advice bodies from European Member States, the European Academy Networks and national Academies will be presented in this session.

Full list of speakers:

Erika Widegren, Re-Imagine Europa

Anne-Greet Keizer, Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), The Netherlands

Janusz Bujnicki, European Commission Scientific Advice Mechanism,

Julie Maxton, the Royal Society

Sven Bestmann, Young Academy of Europe.


Further information about the session and registration can be found on the ESOF website.


Event details


Erika Widegren

Anne-Greet Keizer

Janusz Bujnicki

Julie Maxton

Sven Bestmann