The COST Strategic Plan introduces the Cross-Cutting Activity (CCA) as a tool to better connect policy makers and R&I players to share best practices. The primary beneficiaries of the outcomes will be COST Action participants and the wider R&I (policy) community in Europe. Other CCA initiatives are foreseen to be launched in the future and will also address horizontal topics in line with the European Research Area (ERA) framework.
In 2019, COST introduced the pilot CCA on science communication. This CCA will use COST networking instruments to achieve several deliverables in the context of the following specific objectives:
- Create learning tools to enhance the value and impact of public engagement with science;
- Explore ways of achieving high-quality, evidence-based, interdisciplinary science communication, targeting diverse audiences;
- Address the gap between the scientific community, policy makers, journalists and citizens/stakeholders;
- Develop high-quality training in science communication.
“Europe needs a new ambitious research agenda for the science of science communication that will ensure robust, and socially sustainable relations between science, policy and society for the next decade. The CCA represents the European science communication community’s commitment to contributing to a better and stronger voice of science in Europe.”
– Professor David Budtz Pedersen, Chair of the COST CCA in Science Communication.
CCA Working Groups
The CCA objectives feed into the following Working Group (WG) activities and deliverables, which include a scoping review with the aim to establish a code of practice for EU science communication; a ‘train the trainers’ programme in science communication; a comprehensive stakeholder mapping; and the organisation of conferences.
WG 1 focuses on achieving high-quality, interdisciplinary and evidence-based science communication.
WG 2 will work towards putting in place effective, high-quality training in science communication with a focus on training based on the state of the art in science communication.
WG 3 will aim to connect researchers, science journalists and communicators, stakeholders and policy makers, engaging citizens where possible.
Events – Cross-Cutting Activity on Science Communication
CCA Scoping event
The scoping event launching the CCA on science communication took place on 1 and 2 July 2019. By using the interactive format of the World Café, participants at the CCA scoping event analysed and discussed how to engage in science communication and science stakeholder relations across Europe, set priorities, and define the tools and channels necessary to connect researchers, journalists and policy makers.The main aim of the scoping event was to receive input from participants regarding the CCA specific objectives, deliverables and Working Groups, which helped shape the CCA Memorandum of Understanding.
On 2 October 2019 the kick-off meeting for the CCA on science communication took place in Brussels. This CCA, which will run as a pilot from 2 October 2019 until 1 October 2021, will aim to achieve high-quality, evidence-based and cross-sectoral science communication across Europe. This global objective will be the key focus of the high-level CCA network, consisting of researchers, journalists, policy makers, and representatives from public institutions. Within this initiative, COST provides CCA members with a platform for exchange between more than 50 stakeholders, all of them active in the wider field of science communication.
Memorandum of Understanding
The draft Memorandum of Understanding, including a list of all CCA member organisations, can be accessed here.