Written by Zsolt G. Pataki with Nada Alkhayat,
The purpose: Bringing together policy-makers and researchers; creating a platform for knowledge and experience sharing to mutual benefit; and promoting a better understanding between science and policy-making.
When? 28-30 November 2017
The STOA Panel comprises 25 MEPs with a shared interest in techno-scientific developments, and their implications for daily life and policy-making. Encouraging the exchange of ideas between scientists and MEPs is an essential part of STOA’s mission. STOA is now running the sixth edition of its MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme, following a successful fifth round in 2016. The project is led by STOA Chair Eva Kaili (S&D, Greece). The high point of the Pairing Scheme is the ‘Brussels week’ – an intensive, 3-day get-together of MEPs and researchers in Brussels. This year it takes place from 28 to 30 November, beginning with the ‘Science meets Parliaments’ event, organised together with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), on 28 November at the European Parliament.
Twitter hashtag: #EUsci4PARL
The 2017 edition brings together 18 pairs!
For year after year of successive editions of this project, MEPs and scientists’ interest remains high. Knowledge-sharing has grown to become a real priority in the EU institutions. However, the downside of having access to such a vast amount of information is that it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two F’s: facts and fake! This is where STOA’s MEP- Scientist Paring Scheme comes into the picture.
This year’s participating scientists come from a wide range of EU Member States and institutions: eight from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSC), six from the European Research Council (ERC), two from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and two from the EU Agencies Network for Scientific Advice (EU-ANSA). The scientists come from different disciplines, and are chosen by the MEPs according to their areas of work and the competences of the committees of which they are members. The policy areas covered in this year’s edition are ‘health and life sciences’, ‘challenges and potentials of the Information Society’, ‘sustainable management of natural resources’, and ‘science policy, communication, and global networking’. Click here to see which MEPs and researchers are taking part.
Goal: stepping into one another’s shoes
The scheme is organised to provide a platform where MEPs from different political groups, Member States and backgrounds can choose a scientist to shadow them, providing insights for their work. The reverse also applies, as the scientists have the opportunity to learn about the legislative process, the work of EP committees, Parliament’s research services, and how decisions are made at EU level – truly stepping into someone else’s shoes. It is vital for the two sides to identify the areas where their respective knowledge and experience can be combined with that of their counterpart, so as to feed into better legislation and policy-making. MEPs can follow-up on this by visiting their paired scientists at their workplace. The outcome will be a better understanding between the worlds of science and EU policy-making; an important part of STOA’s mission.