Organisational Public Engagement with Science and Technology

Public engagement (PE) with S&T has become a crucial activity for academic and research organisations. While communication amongst academics, universities and the public is nothing new, it takes on added urgency in a world of global science and competition among universities for students, staff and funding. This, together with the requirements from governments and funders for institutions to address economic and social problems with research has resulted in mounting pressure on institutions to demonstrate the impact of research on society. Research on PE activities has mainly focused on individual scientists, with little attention paid to the institutional structures for communication. Our ongoing research MORE'PE project (2016-2020) has been pioneer in contributing to this gap by mapping communication at the level of research institutes (RIs) (meso-level) within academic institutions in 10 countries around the world. The proposed project 'OPEN - Organisational Public ENgagement' (2018-2021) aims continue this mapping at the central level of organisations. The study will be conducted in Portugal, the UK, Italy and Germany. The team brings together experts in large-scale surveys and the local knowledge to implement the surveys locally. This will be the first empirical work of such type. It will also have impacts at the political, institutional and societal levels by producing evidence that can inform institutional policies and practices to better engage society in research and generate indicators to measure institutional PE.

This project is coordinated by Marta Entradas (PI), and received funding from the national research agency FCT (Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia) (240.000 euros) (Ref: PPTDC/COM-OUT/30022/2017).

Start Date
End Date
Project Funding
External Partners
CIES-Iscte - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
London School of Economics and Political Science
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
University of Trento
Observa Science in Society
Istanbul Bilgi University
Data from Ciência-IUL