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A farewell from the SPARKS project

Over the last 3 years Ecsite has been coordinating the EC funded H2020 Sparks project which directly involved 22 Ecsite members and many more indirectly. The goal of the project was to engage citizens with the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation, which defines a transparent and interactive process in which the research community along with industries, citizens and politicians become mutually responsible for scientific and technological advances, taking into consideration their ethical acceptability, sustainability and social desirability, in order to properly better embed them in the society.

SPARKS has reached more than 1.1 million Europeans through its touring exhibition Beyond the Lab and its innovative participatory activities. More, SPARKS promoted and demonstrated the idea that science engagement institutions are sites of RRI, places where citizens can debate and discuss, places that encourage scientific citizenship and direct participation in science.

SPARKS have left behind lasting tools, worth sharing with the whole of the Ecsite community:

The SPARKS Toolkit is an easy to use guide to identify which of the innovative formats of activities created best fits your objectives and resources, to understand and to prepare Science Espressos, Reverse Science Cafés, Pop-up Science Shops and Scenario Workshops. The information in the toolkit is complemented by the detailed instructions found in the SPARKS handbook activity.

SPARKS’ Policy Recommendations puts forth five key policy recommendations from the Sparks project. European, national and regional policymakers are invited to reflect on how they can be integrated into policy and implemented on the ground. The recommendations were drafted by the SPARKS consortium and validated by 150 participants of the project's final Forum.