Science cafes

EKLIPSE will encourage societal debate on and citizen engagement with policy and research relevant to biodiversity and ecosystem services. This will be achieved by:

Developing a Science-Policy-Society Forum (currently under construction) to facilitate open exchange of ideas, information and research results and to mobilize all relevant actors in the search for sustainable solutions.

Ensuring that societal actors including civil society and business are adequately informed and engaged in all relevant activities of the project and resulting mechanism for example by organizing science cafes in various regions in Europe.

Science cafes are public events inviting citizens and scientists in a discussion about science and technology. The aim of science cafes is to encourage citizens to dialogue with scientist, by bringing science into the everyday life of citizens.It is a way of democratizing science by engaging citizens in the making and interpreting of science.


Nature-based solutions in urban areas

Helsinki, September 2016

The first EKLIPSE science cafe event was held in Helsinki on the 6th September 2016. It was linked to the request "Nature-based solutions in urban areas" and members of the public were encouraged to come discuss and dream with scientists about future cities where nature is the key to improving urban lives and protecting the environment. The science cafe was filmed and the video can be watched here.  

Read more about the request, its Expert Working Group and other outputs here.


How can nature’s diverse values be incorporated into and reflected by public policy?

This request led to three science cafés which approach the request from slightly different angles and scales and use different methods including face-to-face, online and a mix of both. Join the discussion about this topic on the KNOCK Forum.


1. Diversity of nature's values - Budapest 11 September 2017 (face to face)

The first science café from this request was held on September 11th in Budapest, Hungary in the Mantra Specialty Coffee Bar. 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. 
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 and discussions were held in Hungarian. 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-villagers and the role of business in dealing with diverse values. Watch some highlights of the discussion and feedback from the panelists here (with English subtitles). 

2. Integrating diverse values of nature into decision making - Budapest 29 September 2017 (face to face and online)

The second science café, held on September 29th 2017 in Budapest was organised as a side event of European Researcher’s Night. The aim was to discuss policy integration and uptake of the diverse and plural values (special focus on real life applications). 
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 in Hungarian. Discussions were based on the outcomes of the previous science café. The speakers presented their thoughts on the topic then the audience took part. The event ran from 17.30 (CEST) at Impact Hub Budapest (Budapest, Ferenciek squere 2.) and online via Zoom. Join the discussion now on the KNOCK Forum.

3. Integrating various values of nature in policy making - 20 November 2017 (EU-wide online)

The concluding event on the values request will be an EU-wide science café held on the 20th of November 2017. This café will also partially build on the previous two cafés while discussions will be held at the EU-level. The aim is to find out conclusions / disagreements about the potential to integrate various values of nature in policy making, with a special focus on multi-level decision making. 

The panelists represent science, policy and society and include:

  • Maurice Hoffman (Europe's ecosystem research network ALTER-Net & Research Institute for Nature and Forest INBO)
  • Eszter Kelemen (Environmental Social Science Research Group ESSRG & The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services IPBES)
  • Jouni Nissinen (European Environmental Bureau EEB & The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation FANC)
  • Marina von Weissenberg (International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN & MoE of Finland )

The host of the event is Allan Watt (EKLIPSE).

The café can be followed online with Zoom and more details will be promoted soon on the KNOCK forum as well as via a Facebook event. Public participation will be especially encouraged using features such as polling to gather audience views about various topics.