The VERITY Project celebrates a year of milestones!

22. Sep 2023

The VERITY Project presents first achievements to support the issue trust in science.

The Verity Project is pleased to announce the release of the Report on strategies, methods, and tools to address societal distrust in science. A systematic review was conducted to identify evidence-based practices to strengthen public trust in science:

19 studies were categorized into three groups: science education, science communication, and science extension. The review resulted in 11 recommendations, including using educational programs, emphasizing expert ambassadors, focusing on scientific accuracy, and avoiding explicit political advocacy. The study highlights the need for more diverse data sources, a universal measure of trust, and consideration of sociodemographic factors. Addressing these issues can promote trust in science and improve science-society-policy relations. Future research will examine measures within the system of trust and categorize methods using a trust-based framework.

In addition to this notable milestone, the consortium also produced the first Verity Policy Brief, which underscores the urgent need to improve the fragile relationship between science and society and highlights the critical role of active civic and community engagement in research and innovation. The report emphasizes public participation in scientific processes as this can lead to greater trust. Citizen participation leads to greater transparency and trustworthiness. The report also highlights the need to help researchers communicate effectively, combat scientific misconduct and promote equal opportunities in research. Jolita Butkeviciene, director of innovation in science and policy at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), pointed out that the European Commission is actively working to improve science policy communication and promote citizen participation to support collaboration in the research environment. In the interview, she emphasized the need to bridge the gap between science, policy, and the public, stressing that public trust in science is critical for democratic government. For this reason, the JRC has developed a competency framework to facilitate communication between scientists and policymakers and is actively seeking ways to engage the public more effectively. This includes the establishment of the Center of Excellence for Participatory and Deliberative Democracy.

Both reports highlight the key role of scientists and science communicators as important bridges between the world of scientific research and the broader society. The ability to effectively communicate the complexity of research plays a key role in shaping public perception and trust.

This is just the beginning of this exciting journey. The VERITY project is committed to fostering an environment where trust in science thrives. As this evolution continues, more groundbreaking discoveries and initiatives are expected to strengthen the bond between science and society in the future.

ZSI is going to host another focus group in Vienna to foster strategies and good practice scenarios on how to build trust. The focus groups are part of a set of collaborative research activities including scenario building workshops and a citizen media experiment.

(Press release Science Business for VERITY | 05.September 2023)

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Tags: citizen media, open science, RRI, science communication, trust in science, VERITY

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