VOICES – Views, Opinions, Ideas of Citizens in Europe on Science – is an European public consultation of opinions and ideas of citizens about urban waste and innovation. The project, carried out in 2014, was led by the European network of science centres and museums (Ecsite), using these organisations as informal environments for public engagement with science.
Engaging citizens in research agenda setting
One thousand European citizens participated in 100 focus group discussions about ‘waste as a resource’ in 33 locations covering 27 EU countries.
The results were used and taken into account in the direction of EU research policy in the topic of urban waste and the transition to a ‘zero waste society’.
VOICES is, therefore, one of the most innovative cases of meaningful engagement of citizens in research agenda setting at an European level.
The project, its methodology and results are fully documented on an open access portal (www.voicesforinnovation.eu).
VOICES in Portugal
I was in charge of the project in Portugal, together with a team from the Pavilion of Knowledge, the Lisbon Ciencia Viva Centre, having been personally involved in the moderation of the focus groups where the citizen’s ideas and opinions were gathered.
The outcomes are available in the VOICES Portuguese National Report.