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CIPAST Newsletter July 2007

Dear Reader !

This is the seventh 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.

Based on the results of the first CIPAST training workshop, held in Dresden, June 2006, the second CIPAST training workshop was now organized in Procida-Naples. The wonderful mediterranean atmosphere of the island of Procida in the Gulf of Naples and the phantastic organisation by the host Cittá della Scienza allowed a fruitful exchange of experience and expertise and offered much scope for establishing contacts or consolidating networking.

Yours sincerely,
Norbert Steinhaus, Editor

You can download a pdf of this newsletter here.


 

Table of Contents
 

From Dresden to Naples

  Two CIPAST Training Workshops

• The CIPAST database

 

Projects


The Cafe Scientifique Network
• Nanotechnology and Public Engagement


News


The 3rd Living Knowledge conference 

Call for Contribution

  Special CIPAST newsletter issue on Nanotechnologies

 



From Dresden to Naples

CIPAST workshops „How to design and organise public deliberation"


As citizens, do we have legitimacy to discuss emergence of new technologies? The answer is yes, this is our planet. Therefore the 2nd CIPAST training workshop „How to design and organise public deliberation" from June 17th to June 21st 2007 presented the state of the art of knowledge on public participation in science and technology and referred to concrete experiences in European countries. 80 participants from 20 countries enjoyed the wonderful Mediterranean atmosphere of the island of Procida in the Gulf of Naples which allowed a fruitful exchange of experience and expertise. The perfect organisation by the host Cittá della Scienza offered much scope for establishing contacts or consolidating networking.


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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 CIPAST database can be found on this website. In general the database is meant to be a tool for actors involved in science and technology, with a special focus on technology assessment and citizen participation.

In particular it identifies key persons or institutions that may concretely contribute to promote the development of participatory procedures in science and technology in their country. It also gives an overview of several past or ongoing participatory processes. In addition the database provides statistics on the kind of actors and thematic fields represented.

Data always is in a state of flux. Thus the CIPAST database will always be under construction what means constantly updated. Even though it does not pretend to be exhaustive, it provides reliable information about actors and participative processes in Europe.

The CIPAST database is meant as a tool for actors involved in science and technology issues. It has a special focus on technology assessment and citizen participation. The database aims at identifying key actors and giving an overview of past or ongoing participatory processes, in order to foster networking and experience sharing between STS actors throughout Europe. If you are interested to be listed in the database - either as actor, or with a process - you are kindly asked to fill the database registration forms on the CIPAST website.

Subscription form ‘Actors’ www.cipast.org/cipast.php?section=1032

Subscription form ‘Processes’ www.cipast.org/cipast.php?section=1031

For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact the database manager or the webmaster.

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The Cafe Scientifique Network

Café Scientifique - as fostered and supported in a current project by the British Council, United Kingdom‘s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations - provides a unique forum for the discussion of topical and thought provoking scientific issues in a way that is much more relaxed, informal and accessible than a public lecture.


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Nanotechnology and public engagement

Taken from the Scientific Alliance’s newsletter, 15 June 2007


Nanotechnology is fashionable and, like most new technologies, has had its potential over-hyped by many. (...) Nevertheless, the unique properties of materials at the nano-scale make this a fruitful area for development but, along with projected benefits come potential hazards. (...) Poorly handled, such issues have the potential to be a major public relations disaster in the similar way to GM crops.


One way to avoid this - pushed hard by the think tank Demos, among others - is public engagement. The concept is that, by involving lay people in the debate early on, concerns are raised and addressed and the direction of research influenced in ways which are likely to increase acceptance by society. This is the currently fashionable view of how relations between scientists and the public should be handled, replacing the ‚deficit model‘ addressed by the much-derided Public Understanding of Science (PUS) movement.

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News

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

Theme 5 of the Living Knowledge Conference will deal with Participatory Processes in Science and Technology. Contributions will cover critical analyses of participatory methods: what are good practices, or what limites and obstacles participation? Registration forms, detailed descriptions of the themes and accepted contributions are available on the conference websites. (French, English), or at the website of the International Network of Science Shops: www.livingknowledge.org.) For additional information about the conference you can contact citizens-research-LK3@sciencescitoyennes.org

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Call for Contribution

Participatory Activities in Nanotechnologies

In this autumn we intend to publish a special edition of the CIPAST newsletter on participatory initiatives in the field of nanotechnology. We would really appreciate if you could support our editorial work by sending us information about participatory activities and processes you took note of. Have you heard of a Consenus Conference or a Citizens Jury which which was organized on the topic of Nanotechnoly? Or have you taken part in a Science Café to discuss expectations or concerns? Please send us weblinks or reports, and if possible a contact person.

Roland Schaer, Cité de Sciences et de l’Industrie, r.schaer@cite-sciences.fr, Norbert Steinhaus, Wissenschaftsladen Bonn, norbert.steinhaus@wilabonn.de

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