25 September 2014 - 26 September 2014
European Parliament, Brussels

Science, Media and Democracy at the European Intersectoral Summit on Research and Innovation

IIASA Director General and CEO, Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat will join top political leaders and key representatives from media, businesses and research institutions at the third edition of the European Intersectoral Summit on Research and Innovation (EISRI), at the European Parliament in Brussels. 

EU Parliment (c) Botond Horvath / Shutterstock.com

EU Parliment (c) Botond Horvath / Shutterstock.com

The summit is organised by Atomium Culture, the European Commission, and the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the EU, and will assess the relationship between science, media and democracy.

It will focus on the importance of citizen-centred approaches to science and innovation in the European Union and is designed to create a unique opportunity for intersectoral and interdisciplinary discussion between leading stakeholders to:

  • Create a debate at the level of heads of state and leading thinkers on the role of knowledge in the digital age reflecting the challenges and opportunities of the new media environment;
  • Showcase global best practices and assess the most efficient ways how different stakeholders can contribute to this endeavour;
  • Support intersectoral dialogue with the public at large on these themes and engage the public through the participation and cooperation of the European newspapers engaged in the Permanent Platform of Atomium Culture;
  • Present concrete solutions and recommendations on the discussed problems and challenges having in mind both short-term and long-term perspectives.

IIASA has a long relationship with both the European Commission, and their in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre, which provides EU policies with independent, evidence based scientific and technical support. Earlier this year, a delegation, consisting of department heads from a range of the JRC’s institutes, meet with Professor Dr. Pavel Kabat, Director General and CEO of IIASA, and the directors of IIASA’s nine research programs. 

Vladimír Šucha, Director-General of the Joint Research Centre was also a participant of the recent retreat of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group, a reflection group that strives to support global economic and social transformations towards sustainability by creating and communicating positive narratives for sustainable development and business opportunities, grounded in cutting edge international systems-science.

One of the IIASA's inputs to EU policy has been the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program, and the IIASA Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model which has provided a framework for the analysis of co-benefits of reduction strategies from air pollution and greenhouse gas sources. The EU commission has used the GAINS model as the scientific tool to analyze new measures as part of a new clean air policy package announced in December 2013.  Using GAINS, policymakers were able to examine the costs and benefits of every available air pollution control measure.

There is increasing recognition worldwide that the work of Chief Science Advisors and other Science Advisory Committees is of critical importance in the task of improving dialogue and collaboration among science, policy and society. Kabat has recently returned from a Science Advice to Governments conference in Auckland which explored and shared the best practices with which science advice is operationalised in different countries and in relation to some of the most challenging policy contexts such as science advice in situations of crisis, and provision of collaborative multi-national science advice. 

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Last edited: 22 September 2014

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