Science and Society

Science and Society

Dissemination of academic knowledge plays a fundamental role in the dialogue between the academy and society, based on growing interaction between researchers and members of the wider community.

Activities aimed at political decision-makers and stakeholders

The ICS, through its Observatories in particular, undertakes a range of activities aimed at converting the results of academic research into instruments which assist in political decision-making and to the work of other entities (stakeholders). Some examples: 

  • policy briefs e research briefs
  • the Portugal Social em Mudança (Portugal’s Changing Society) collection,  
  • ICS researcher membership of consultative committees in central and local government and private non-profit enterprises (e.g. CNADS, Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, Missão Continente, GovInt  Forum for Integrated Government)
  • ICS researcher collaboration in events organized by stakeholders (seminars, conferences, workshops)

Activities aimed at the general public 

Most of the events held at the ICS are open to the general public. The ICS also undertakes other social science knowledge dissemination activities and envolves citizens in debates on topics with a research element. Some examples:

  • Research Group and Observatory Blogs (ATSSPARCLIFEImpérios)
  • Citizen surveys on current affairs topics by Research Groups and Observatories;
  • Exhibitions to publicise academic work;
  • Noite Europeia dos Investigadores (European Researchers’ Night), one of the main annual academic events in Europe, organized by the European Commission;
  • Semana da Ciência e Tecnologia (Science and Technology Week), an annual event organized by the Agência Ciência Viva (Living Science Agency);
  • Greenfest, one of the major sustainability events in Portugal. The Cascais Municipality is one of the organizers.

Activities for schools 

Every year the ICS organizes events and internships to provide research experience to students and teachers from the basic and secondary levels of the education system. ICS researchers are also regularly invited to give lectures in schools. Some examples:

  • Verão na ULisboa (Summer at the University of Lisbon) – a University of Lisbon Rector’s initiative which gives basic and secondary level students (from year 7 to year 12) to get to know and try out academic life for a week during the summer. The ICS has taken part in the week aimed at secondary school students;
  • Academic Internships for Young People – The Ciência Viva no Laboratório – Ocupação Científica de Jovens nas Férias( Living Science in the Laboratory – Academic Experience for Young People in the Holidays, by the Agência Ciência Viva, gives secondary level students an opportunity to get to know the realities of academic research. It takes place in July and August. The ICS is a regular participant in this initiative. Prior to this collaboration, the ICS organized internships for young students since 2004, as part of the Observatório Permanente de Escolas(the Schools Observatory), which has subsequently merged with the OPJ (the Youth Observatory);
  • Descobre a ULisboa (Discover the University of Lisbon), a University of Lisbon exhibition aimed at pre-university students and the general public, showing them what is done in the university;
  • Futurália, the annual Lisbon forum for education, training and employability.

ICS in the media

ICS researchers interact frequently with the media, through news, articles, reports, opinion editorials and commentaries. They have also been regular visitors on the Antena 1 radio programme 90 segundos de ciência (90 seconds of science), organized by the ITQB - Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier(António Xavier Chemical and Biological Institute).