Brussels, 03 Aug 2005
An EU funded project has launched a Europe-wide consultation with the aim of improving informed debate between scientists, journalists and civil society on science, and determining perceptions of media coverage of science.
The Commission believes that, in a knowledge-based society, both policy makers and citizens need to be equipped to make informed choices given the ever-growing range of options thrown up by scientific and technological progress.
Four groups will be targeted by the MESSENGER project: the producers of scientific knowledge (scientists); the users (decision makers); the media; and civil society groups and organisations. The consultation is being conducted by the two partners in the project - the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC) in the UK, and the Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR) in the Netherlands.
In addition to contributing to the debate that already exists, the partners will seek to identify new opportunities for engagement in the governance of scientific research and its applications by relevant stakeholders.
MESSENGER will also facilitate and improve the quality of dissemination of scientific information and advice through the mass media in Europe.
The partners will also be charged with establishing how the communication of risk and discussions of risk-related issues impact upon perceptions of scientific enterprise in EU countries, and with developing methodology for analysing the production and coverage of science, technology and health news.
Based on the consultation, the MESSENGER partners will develop products for the briefing and training of EU funded scientists on the dissemination of their work, and guidelines for the training of journalists.
All stakeholders - from civil society, the scientific community, the media and decision making organisations - are invited to participate in the survey.
To participate in the consultation please consult the following web address:
For further information on the MESSENGER, please visit: