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Programme de rechercheEBP-BIOSOC

EuroScience Open Forum

02 July 2010

The participants of the research program EBP BIOSOC will organize two panel sessions at the EuroScience Open Forum, organised in Torino (Italy), 2010, July 2-7.

Our panel sessions at ESOF 2010:

Two panel sessions presenting the outcomes of the research program EBP-BIOSOC have been proposed by the reseachers associated to this program, and selected by the scientific comitee of ESOF 2010. The first panel session is "young scientifist" session (participants of less than 35 years), and the second one a session mainly with senior researchers.

  • Panel Session 1. "Making Science Understandable. Lessons learnt from agricultural extension."

- Organizers: Pierre Labarthe (INRA SAD, France) and Moussa N'Dienor (IRD, Sénégal)

- Other Speakers and discutants:

Ismail M. Moumouni, Faculté d'Agronomie, Université de Parakou, Bénin.

Laurens Klerkx, Wageningen University, Communication and Innovation Studies, Netherlands.

Kristin E. Davis, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC, USA.

Catherine Laurent, INRA SAD.

- Synopsis: This international and interdisciplinary session is based on the case of agricultural extension services. These services were created specifically to bridge science and society for farm production and environmental issues. They are linked to universities in many countries and lie in a long tradition of “popularisation” of scholarship from various disciplines (biotechnical sciences such as agronomy, animal husbandry, natural sciences, social sciences). Extensive surveys and reviews show that several types of “bridges” are necessary to fully consider the time frame of action (design, implementation, assessment) and to contextualize the scientific knowledge in specific situations. In particular, they stress that the different groups of actors concerned with these situations (policy makers, farmers, researchers, etc.) have unequal capacities to access and use scientific knowledge, but that all of them need specific meta-knowledge, i.e. knowledge on available knowledge, clear picture on scientific production, and on the actual limits of the validity of the research outcomes. But the results of such research remain fragmented. Our goal is to put these reflections in a global and interdisciplinary perspective in order to discuss the types of meta-knowledge (models, levels of proofs, types of evidence, boundary objects...) that various stakeholders need in three different situations (management of innovation, implementation of new practices, assessment of services).

  • Panel session 2. "Transformation of the regime of access to scientific knowledge: sustainable development issues and need of new type of metaknowledge."

- Organizers: Jacques Baudry (INRA SAD, France), Vincent Guiillin (University of Montréal, Canada), and Catherine Laurent (INRA SAD, France).

- Other speakers and discutants:

Nicky Allsopp (University Western Cape, RSA)

N.Dewandre (DG Research, European Commission)

Daniel Andler (Institut Universitaire de France)

Aurélie Trouvé (ENESAD Dijon)

- Synopsis: The issue of bridging science and policy results in many shared reflections regarding the regime of access to scientific knowledge. This is shown by investigations dealing with the economic and political organisation of this access (e.g. intellectual property rights). This change has also an epistemic dimension. The extreme abundance of research outputs, the increasing range of questions addressed by sciences, the plurality of theories within disciplines, make the judicious and rational use of available knowledge for action more and more difficult. Hence the building of a new type of knowledge in order to better circulate within the universe of available scientific knowledge: the production of metaknowledge (knowledge on knowledge e.g. metanalyses, systematic reviews...). Several paths are explored to create the required adequate metaknowledge (for instance though evidence-based approaches). But until now very few reflections aim at presenting in a synthetic way the diverse theories that coexist within each discipline to show their blind spots for both policy makers and researchers from other disciplines. The session will be be dedicated to this issue.

Examples will be taken in a specific domain of action: design and evaluation of policies involving agricultural development and biodiversity conservation. The contributions will combine lessons from scientific disciplines (economics, ecology, agronomy), philosophy of science and policy making. The contributors have worked on these issues for several years in various national contexts, in the EU and abroad.

1) The first communication (C.Laurent et al. .INRA, ANR Ebp Biosoc coordinator) will introduce the notion of “metaknowledge” and it will demonstrate why it is necessary to build specific metaknowledge on plurality of existing theories for researchers and policy makers. A method (based on the notion of “research programme form lakatos” will be proposed). 2) The second communication (N.Allsopp et al. University Western Cape RSA, ANR Ebp-Bioc member) will present and discuss an exemple of this approach (based on existing research on biodiversity conservation policies). It will show how metaknowledge on existing theories in ecology (and their blind spots) can help policy makers to assess the advantages and limits of alternative policies. 3) The third communication (N.Dewandre DG Research, European Commission) will bring in a policy maker point of view on this issue.

Discussants : D. Andler (Institut Universitaire de France), A. Trouvé (ENESAD Dijon)

More information about Euroscience and ESOF

Euroscience is an international organisation based in Strasbourg open to researchers, policy-makers, teachers, Ph.D students, engineers, industrialists, and in general to all citizens interested in science and technology and their links with society. It represents European scientists of all disciplines (natural sciences, mathematics, medical sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and the arts), institutions of the public sector, universities, research institutes as well as the business and industry sector. The Association brings together 2,300 members from 40 European countries.

Further information on Euroscience:

Created by Euroscience, ESOF – Euroscience Open Forum – is the biennial pan-European meeting dedicated to scientific research and innovation. At ESOF meetings leading scientists, researchers, young researchers, business people, entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers, science and technology communicators and the general public from all over the world discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that research is taking in the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

ESOF is unique in that it is both international and multidisciplinary. ESOF takes place every two years, in a major European city (Stockholm, Munich, Barcelona, Torino, Dublin...) and presents breakthroughs in disciplines as varied as mathematics, music, geography, genetics etc. through a range of different formats including lectures, workshops etc..

ESOF therefore presents and discusses the frontiers of scientific and technological research in Europe, contributes to the development of a European Scientific Identity together with bridging the gap between science and society and stimulates policies to support scientific research.