The project

Taking into account their social impact, the exercising of democracy suggests that scientific and technical progress do not necessarily take centre stage for civil society in terms of appreciation and choice. Effectively, these innovations, based on the work of researchers, have contributed to making tomorrow’s world different to that we know today. They have enabled us to predict possible unexpected outcomes – not necessarily negative – in terms of health, ecology, lifestyle, and even customs.
INPROFOOD is a project financed by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union and coordinated by the Ecsite network of European science museums. It aims to strengthen dialogue and mutual learning among industries, research and civil society, from the very first stages of research processes, right through to the development of technical and social innovations to confront challenges in the field of nutrition and health. Within the framework of this project, Traces has implemented discussion games workshops with adolescents to broach these challenges.

The targets

•    Promote the participative development of new ways to get civil society involved in the field of nutritional and health research
•    Analyse the current role of the public and its participation in the context of nutritional and health research
•    Develop programmes to implicate players at a national and European level
•    Prioritise the adoption of established initiatives to encourage the greater involvement of civil society in nutritional and health research, via the development of an action plan

The methods

This project is based on the idea of putting trust in the public, just as in the public debate model and the approach of citizen conferences. It provides an alternative to the descending (deficit) model, which is often characteristic of information and awareness campaigns. To us, discussion games are "a manifestation of democracy, an occasion upon which scientists, those presenting issues, politicians and the general public can discuss the different aspects of science, technology and governance". With the PlayDecide technique used here, discussions are based on facts and accounts. With a common starting point of discussion, the opinions, values and thought processes of each individual can be expressed.

EU, FP7.