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Brexit – Collaborations and citizen participation more crucial than ever

Cross-border collaborations are at the heart of Ecsite's mission - here at the 2016 Ecsite Annual Conference

As UK electors voted to leave the European Union last week, Ecsite first wants to reassure its UK members and friends that they will remain a vital part of our community. The UK has played and will keep on playing a major role on the European science engagement scene, giving birth to many inspiring science communication practices.

Cross-border collaboration is at the heart of Ecsite’s activities and the EU has been and will remain a powerful enabler of such cooperation. Ecsite is saddened to see signs of a seemingly rising rejection of the EU among some European citizens. However Ecsite never restricted its definition of Europe to EU member states. Beyond political boundaries, Europe is a cultural entity that Ecsite will, more than ever, continue to champion, creating platforms to share experiences, reflections and inspiring practices in science engagement from all over Europe and the world.

Ecsite is concerned that the results of a heated referendum campaign could become an argument to dismiss citizen involvement in policy making. We re-affirm and defend that citizens can and should participate in complex agenda-setting dialogues built on evidence-based debates, openness, and critical thinking. The European science engagement community will keep putting these principles into practice on a daily basis, true to Ecsite’s vision: to foster creativity and critical thinking in European society, emboldening citizens to engage with science.

Watch out for the summer issue of Spokes, out on 1 August. It will contain a column from Ecsite President Michiel Buchel on the Brexit, and we will be asking a number of professionals what the Brexit might mean for science engagement.


  • brexit