Public and Science

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Vetenskap & Allmänhet, (Swedish: "Public & Science") (VA) is a Swedish non-profit membership organisation that works to promote dialogue and openness between researchers and the public.

The organisation was founded in 2002 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

VA's members consist of some 80 organisations, authorities, universities, companies and associations. In addition, it has a number of individual members. The organisation is funded through membership fees, project grants and a grant from the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research.

VA's main aims:

  1. Increase collaboration between researchers and the public.
  2. Increase knowledge and dialogue about:
    • Public perceptions of research and research requirements
    • Prerequisites for research, research methods and results
    • Methods for science collaboration
  3. Be a leading knowledge hub for public engagement and science communication
  4. Strengthen all aspects of engagement with society; democratic, cultural as well as for the benefit and education of society

VA carries out surveys and studies with the aim of increasing knowledge about the relationships between science and society at large. This includes an annual barometer into the Swedish public's general attitudes towards science and researchers, as well as more specific studies on how opinion-forming groups in society view and use research, how researchers interact with society, and methods for dialogue on science and research.

VA also arranges many events and activities aimed at stimulating dialogue between researchers and the public in new ways and in novel arenas. VA is the Swedish national co-ordinator for the science festival European Researchers’ Night. The first Researchers' Night was run in Sweden in September 2005[1] and in 2013 events were run in 30 cities in Sweden.[2] VA also organises the Researchers' Grand Prix , a science communication competition for researchers and mass experiments in schools, that engage pupils in real research. Other activities include Science Cafés.

VA is a member of EUSEA (European Science Events Association).

Secretary Generals

  • 2002-2011 Camilla Modéer
  • 2011–present Cissi Billgren Askwall

Chairs

  • 2002 Majléne Westerlund Panke
  • 2003-2004 Lena Hjelm-Wallén
  • 2005-2006 Majléne Westerlund Panke
  • 2007-2010 Dan Brändström
  • 2011–present Agneta Bladh

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