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. See 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. Watch our video.

3. The diverse values of nature - EU-wide Science Cafe 20 November 2017 (online)

The first EU-wide EKLIPSE science café was a vibrant discussion on integrating the diverse values of nature into policy making. The focus of the discussion was on finding solutions to existing disagreements and barriers for harmonized integration of diverse values into decision making in Europe. More information can be found here.

The four panelists: Maurice Hoffmann, Jouni Nissinen, Eszter Kelemen and Marina von Weissenberg tackled the topic from the perspectives of research, policy and civil society. With the help of a very active online audience the discussion was further enriched by questions and perspectives brought out through the audience polls.

The cafe was built around three specific topics related to the integration of values. Firstly the panelists discussed channels of information when developing and communicating different values. Social media, expert opinions and research were brought up as the main sources, but also the insightful idea of nature itself being an important source and guide of our values was also expressed. Secondly types of arguments found relevant for influencing policy on nature values were discussed. The panelists mentioned the value of measurements and facts when arguing for certain policies, whereas the poll showed the audience’s opinion of monetary arguments as the most effective ones. Lastly trans-disciplinarity, overarching concepts like Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and citizen inclusion were highlighted as ways of bridging the gaps between different actors and perspectives on values.

This science café gave EKLIPSE not only a great way of answering the request and for questioning how values can be integrated into policy but also generated ideas about how to further develop the societal engagement activities of EKLIPSE. We were excited to see people participate actively and we hope you all enjoyed the café. Participants were invited to answer a brief survey on their experience


Final report

The final report from the three science cafes "The diverse values of nature and integrating them into decision-making" is now available. 

All our EKLIPSE videos can be found on our Outputs - Videos page.