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IP/05/271

Brussels, 9 March 2005

Connecting science and society: European Commission launches tool for scientific input to policy-making

The European Commission is today launching an e-network to make scientific advice more easily accessible for policy-makers. SINAPSE (Scientific Information for Policy Support in Europe) provides a tool for the exchange of information between the scientific community and decision-makers. It will provide an interactive library of scientific opinions and advice, as well as an early-warning system for better detection of potential crises and awareness of important scientific issues. The launch takes place at the beginning of a 3-day Science in Society Forum in Brussels, with more than 1000 participants.

"I am strongly committed to bring the best and latest science to the attention of policy-makers, at EU and also national level” said Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research. “There is lots of good scientific expertise around. With SINAPSE, I believe we have a strong tool to access that expertise in real time. If we succeed in doing that, and if scientists and their organisations come to use it as a natural tool, I believe we can bring science and society a bit closer together. I strongly encourage all those who can contribute to the objectives of SINAPSE to sign up immediately, so the system can function fully as soon as possible."

SINAPSE will ensure that knowledge and expertise that is sometimes difficult for decision-makers to access will be readily available. More than 150 organisations, universities and individuals have already signed up for participation in the “Yellow Pages for scientific advice”, and additional participation is welcomed, to create as broad a scientific base as possible. Participation is open to all and without cost.

SINAPSE is just one example of the type of project that the Commission is developing in the framework of its “Science and Society Action Plan”. This plan is currently being discussed at the Science in Society Forum from 9 to 11 March in Brussels, which brings together over 1000 participants, from governments, academia and civil society, to examine how to promote scientific awareness and how best to engage with the public in the area of science-based policy-making.

See MEMO/05/86 for more information on SINAPSE.

More information on the Science and Society Forum can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2005/forum2005/index_en.htm


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