Knowledge Kiosk: towards an original and effective dialogue system between science and society

Public dialogue is an important scientific responsibility. It can increase the awareness among the general public of the importance of research, lead to better understanding of the key benefits that research brings to society and integrate in the scientific process contributions from society. However, it is hard to find examples of effective dialogue systems, in which citizens play an active role and give their voice to science. Additionally, many researchers would like to contribute (more) to public engagement, but do not know how to bring it into practice.

The Knowledge Kiosk started as a series of co-creation workshops to design novel and original dialogue systems between citizens and researchers. For the implementation of the workshops, we developed our own Design Thinking methodologies. The workshops were implemented in Barcelona and Lisbon in 2019 and early 2020 and had the following composition and structure: i) first round with only citizens, who developed first ideas for new interaction formats of citizens and researchers; ii) second round with only researchers to select some ideas from the first workshop and further develop them; iii) third round with both groups to finalize a prototype that could be ideally implemented. The workshop results from both cities were compared and delivered insightful results.

The methodology used in the workshops was very successful and will therefore be shared as an open tool. It shall serve as a “manual” to facilitate the organisation of workshops in other cities and countries to allow the development of different prototypes according to the different local needs and desires of both target groups.

The Knowledge Kiosk evolved from the MSCA social lab within the H2020 project NewHoRRIzon (https://newhorrizon.eu/sl3/) and aims at contributing to bridge the communication gap between science and society, focusing particularly on public engagement as one of the six RRI key elements.

Authors: Jonas Krebs, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Spain; Blanca Guasch, Science for Change S.L. (SfC), Spain; Anna Olsson, i3S – Institute for Research and Innovation in Health, University of Porto, Portugal; Cristina Luís, Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia (CIUHCT), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

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