EISRI Summit discusses the relationship between Science, Media and Democracy

On the 26-27 of September 2014, Atomium – European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy hosted the third edition of the European Intersectoral Summit on Research and Innovation on “Science, Media and Democracy”.

The Summit, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, brought together over one hundred participants from the world of research, media, business and politics to discuss some of the most pressing issues related to this theme.

As the panellists demonstrated, the world of communication grows ever more rapidly, resulting in the need for more effective ways to communicate and bring about real change to help real citizens. In the spirit of such innovation, the preliminary outcomes of this year’s Summit were presented not session by session but as a synthesis of the whole broken down by category, with each category focussing on citizen-centred outcomes discussed by panellists.

Mr. Ron Mobed, CEO of Elsevier, pointed out that “the sheer volume of research data being created today, without proper management, will become unmanageable”. How to sift through so much information remains one of the major challenges on the horizon. Online platforms for tracking and storing research findings so that others can find them allows for a greater efficiency.

Dr. Gernot Klotz, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Programme of the European Chemical Industry Council, mentioned that today, “we are information and data giants, but we are knowledge dwarves. I want to question what is said that more information will lead to more knowledge”. Similarly, he continued, “we are knowledge giants and we are growth and jobs dwarves”. A surge of information does not necessarily translate into knowledge, increased productivity, increased standard of living, growth or jobs. Making sure that something positive is done with the latest research findings creates an atmosphere of responsibility toward society.

So how can the leading stakeholders of the knowledge economy work together to find better ways of developing, sharing and using knowledge in more efficient and useful manner? This is the key question the Summit addressed.

Mr. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing said it best:
“We must not have a debate for the pleasure of a debate . . .we must try to achieve something useful”.

To see the Programme click HERE

To download the Report click HERE