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Flexible and innovative tools

Two tools have been trialled by the Sciencewise programme:

The Sounding Board (Digital Discussion Panel)

The Sounding Board is Sciencewise’s new and innovative tool to gain rapid public input on challenging issues involving science and technology. It brings together a demographically balanced panel of 8-12 citizens selected from our diverse pool of 100 registered participants – all of whom are familiar with discussion on science and technology issues, in a verbal, real-time online discussion.

Policy makers will be able to circulate materials to the group in advance, and then engage in a facilitated discussion to gather an understanding of public views on the topic in question. If desired, it would be possible to run several panels on the same issue to increase the sample size.

The Sounding Board complements Sciencewise’s full scale, face-to-face dialogue model, providing informed public input in a shorter time-frame and at lower cost.

We have piloted approaches and methods to run the Sounding Board. Initial trials were on:
Public view on decarbonising heat - Committee on Climate Change
Research needs for onshore oil and gas (shale gas) - Environment Agency

For more details, please click here.

Science Museum event

An event was held at the Science Museum from on an evening in January 2016. The event was piloted by Sciencewise, to understand whether one-off, public workshops could be a way of delivering useful information to policymakers, while also raising awareness of key issues, and the visibility of the department’s involvement. The idea was that such events might be used to gauge whether a full dialogue was worthwhile, or be used as a supplement to a dialogue.

Further details are in a summary of the event.