The ideal of ‘integration’ is based on scientists, politicians, industry and citizens cooperating to decide which fields of research are important. In modern societies, problems – and their solutions – are so complex that cooperation between different groups is important to keep research relevant. Only by involving all affected parties can you make sure that science deals with the most important issues, and that the solutions created are in line with the values and needs of a society.
Questions for reflection:
- How can ordinary people contribute to science?
- Does everyone have the right to get involved, even if they don’t know much about a field?
- Do you trust your fellow citizens?
How do scientists usually think in this ideal? Read more below.
Hi, what’s on your mind? I’d like to talk with you. I really want my research to change the world, so I need to talk to a lot of different people. There’s so much I don’t know. It’s only if I speak to other people – who are not just like my colleagues and myself – that I’ll learn anything new. I get a lot of good ideas by listening to patients, industry, journalists, artists… I’ve learned a lot by speaking with other parents at my children’s school. I think it’s really important that we don’t just develop new knowledge and technology without considering how it can be used, and who will use it – don’t you agree?