Science cafe activities
Discussing how diverse values of nature could be integrated into public policy through a series of science cafés in Autumn 2017
General information and background
During Autumn 2017, EKLIPSE will organise three science cafés exploring, deliberating and answering the quetion: How can nature’s diverse values be incorporated into and reflected by public policy? This question was received as a knowledge request from Tom West, ClientEarth, and has been scoped with the requester during Spring 2017.
In addition to answering the request, the science cafés also test and develop different approaches to societal participation and evaluate their potential to support and strengthen the science-policy-society dialogue to be used in the EKLIPSE mechanism.
Science cafés were chosen to fulfill the EKLIPSE vision of encouraging and improving knowledge exchange between citizens, researchers and policymakers to improve policy and management processes related to the governance of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The three science cafés will approach the request from slightly different angles and scales. In addition, they will use different participation methods: face-to-face, online and a mix of both.
In addition to the science cafés, the request topic has been opened for discussion on the KNOCK forum, where both scientific research and citizen conversation is welcomed. The discussion has been promoted, and will continute to be, promoted on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn), email lists of some NGOs, and different networks of EKLIPSE members.
The first science café was held on September 11th in Budapest, Hungary in the Mantra Specialty Coffee Bar.
The panelists were:
• Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszky (ecologist)
• Zoltán Szabó (environmental economist)
• Farkas Judit (cultural anthropologist)
The science café was hosted by Eszter Kelemen. A total of 20 people participated in the science café, which was in Hungarian.
The café was promoted on the KNOCK forum of the EKLIPSE website and also a separate Facebook event was created (in Hungarian) - 66 people were interested and 19 participated. The Facebook event was also used to present the speakers of the café. A camera crew videoed the event and a short highlights video of the café is available with English subtitles.
The aim of this science café was to show the diversity and incommensurability of different values of nature and ecosystem services and to initiate a public dialogue about this diversity.
Each of the speakers presented their ideas on the topic and then the public was invited to present questions a take part in the discussion. The conversation was very lively and quickly focused on concrete examples of where and how different ecological, social and economic values of nature are present, covering topics related to bees, eco-villages and the role of business in dealing with diverse values. Rather than questioning the existence of these diverse values the café concentrated on the solutions for integrating and accommodating this diversity into policy making.
The science café not only presented the versatility of the request and create discussion around it but also succeeded in engaging the public audience members and let their ideas be heard. The second science café, also to be held in Budapest, was also promoted in this event.
Integrating diverse values of nature into decision making - Budapest face-to-face+online science café
The second science café took place on researcher’s night on September 29th in Budapest and was a mix of face-to-face and online using the Zoom webinar tool.
The panelists were:
• Bálint Halpern (NGO representative, nature conservation expert)
• Zsolt Molnár (ethno-ecologist) who will participate in the panel online
• Ágnes Kalóczkai (agri-environmental engineer)
The event was hosted by Eszter Kelemen and discussions were held in Hungarian.
The café was organised as a side event of the European Researchers’ Nights, and was promoted on the KNOCK forum, on the official Hungarian website for the European Researchers’ Nights, and a Facebook event. A subtitled short video will be produced based on the event.
The aim of the science café was to discuss policy integration and uptake of the diverse and plural values (with a special focus on real life applications).
The concluding event on the values request will be an EU-wide science café on 20th November 2017. The speakers are yet to be confirmed, but will include representatives from science, policy and society. The café will be set up so that it can be followed online with Zoom, but also two hubs will be created in Budapest (in conjunction with an Alter-NET meeting), Helsinki (CSO representatives). The café will be hosted by Allan Watt (EKLIPSE coordinator).
The event will be promoted on the KNOCK forum and a Facebook event with regular updates and information on the speakers. Additionally EKLIPSE members will promote the event through their own networks and social media.
This final event will also partially build on the previous cafes and aim to especially scale the discussion to the EU-level. The aim is to find out conclusions / disagreements about possibilities to integrate various values of nature in policy making, with a special focus on multi-level decision making.
The structure of the EU wide science café will be similar to the previous science cafés, but public participation will be especially encouraged using certain features such as polling. The answers in polls and questions presented by the audience will serve as points of reflection and food for thought throughout the science café.