Choosing our Future Public Forum: Have your voice heard this Science Week  

Posted on: 10 November 2020

The ADAPT centre wants to hear from the Irish public about how science can shape our future post COVID-19. Whether your chosen topic is the realities of home working and studying, addressing misinformation, or harnessing technology to make our lives easier,  this is your chance to shape how we emerge from this pandemic together

The ADAPT Centre at  Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is calling on the Irish public this Science Week to share experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and participate in a mass public debate.   This is a unique opportunity for the public to inform how we would like our future to look. 

To facilitate the discussion, Science Foundation Ireland has awarded ADAPT, the SFI Research Centre for Digital Media Technology, funding under the COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding Call to create and host the Choosing Our Future Public Forum, an online participation platform running live from Tuesday 10th– Friday 13th November. 

The results of the study will enable policy makers to listen to and understand the citizen’s perspective and to reflect upon often understated or hidden issues that have occurred during this period of crisis with a view to informing the design of future policies. 

The Choosing our Future Public Forum will focus on several topics which have had a strong impact on the public during this period of profound transformation: ?the future of? healthcare, our towns and cities, education, and societal change. 

Whether it is the realities of home working and studying, addressing misinformation, harnessing technology to make our lives easier and healthier,  this is your chance to shape how we emerge from this pandemic together and learn from our shared lived experience. 

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Prof Luke O’Neill Chair of Biochemistry (pictured below) , along with other Trinity academic experts: Prof Yvonne Buckley -Professor of Zoology, Prof. Jennifer Edmund, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, Dr Anne Devitt, Assistant Professor of Language Education  Dr Marcus Collier,  Assistant Professor of Botany at Trinity College Dublin, Dr PJ Wall, Research Fellow INTEGRITY H2020 Projectwill provide their expert opinion on a wide range of topics, and the science underpinning them.

They invite the public to participate and have their opinions heard. The questions posed range from the development of vaccines, to leveraging technology to transforming our education systems, from building sustainable living spaces in our towns and cities to increasing our outdoor physical activitiesThe findings of the platform discussions will be shared with policy makers to support their efforts to form future policies with the benefit of the voice and experiences of the citizen. 

Prof. Vinny Wade Director of the ADAPT Centre said  

The Choosing our Future forum uses ADAPT’s award winning discussion platform to facilitate a two way dialogue, debate and deliberation between researchers and the public  in a unique way. This innovative format presents research based evidence to inform the public on the challenges we collectively face and encourages them to have their say in how we shape the future. The final report will create a clear picture of public opinion on the key issues, combining next-generation natural language analysis, with social science research techniques. 

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland said:

This Science Week we want to hear from you, the Irish public, on how science can shape our shared future. Through the online discussion on the Choose your Future Public Forum, we are encouraging people across Ireland to join the conversation on how COVID-19 has impacted how you live your life. As we respond to COVID-19 as a society, the role science plays in our everyday lives has never been clearer. In sharing your views on the platform, you have the opportunity to shape our collective future and the role science plays.

The Choosing our Future Public Forum is being launched on Tuesday 10th of November, with moderated discussions running until Friday 13th . Register now to have your say at  #choosingourfuture 



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Catherine O’Mahony, Media Relations Officer | |