Science, Technology and Governance in Europe – the STAGE project
STAGE was an eight country thematic network, funded by the European Commission under its Fifth Framework Programme, whose aims were to develop and refine a heuristic model of science and technology governance in Europe. Its approach has been one of iteration between, on the one hand, conceptual overview and synthesis, taking account of work under FP4, wherever possible parallel work under FP5 and the wider literature, and, on the other, 29 analytic case studies, based on existing research, of how policy cultures confront the governance of particular technologies, particularly in relation to wider public engagement.
Through this process, and the refining of our conceptual framework, we aimed to:
- understand more about the structure, process and boundary characteristics of national policy cultures in confronting common issues of science and technology governance, including those that arise from, or contribute to, the implementation of European regulation;
- analyse the particular science and technology issues, actors and processes which each policy culture highlights in relation to three technology domains – ITC, genetic modification in relation to food and medicines, and environmental management – examining particular mediating/brokering institutions and processes which construct issues, rhetorics and repertoires of response;
- and offer in consequence a more secure knowledge base to frame policy and practice concerning wider social participation in the governance of science and technology.
During the thirty-nine months of the network’s life we have:
- organised six workshops in Portugal (October 2001) Norway (June 2002), Sweden (October 2002), Greece (May 2003), Finland (November 2003) and the Netherlands (June 2004) to develop our thinking and plan further work;
- during each workshop, engaged with local analysts, policymakers and practitioners about distinctive features of their national culture of scientific governance
- Held conferences in Denmark (January 2002) and London (December 2004) to put STAGE into a wider context of related work
- produced two framing discussion papers, by Elam and Bertilsson (2002) and Hagendijk and Kallerud (2003) which reviewed the literature, clarified key dimensions of governance, and framed the choice and writing of our case and country studies
- produced 29 case studies of public engagement in science and technology governance covering a range of technology issues
- made widespread collective and individual dissemination efforts including a Brussels presentation of the key results for policy and practice, over 60 STAGE related academic publications, and some 80 presentations at conferences, workshops etc
Our final report presents our typology of scientific governance, our main findings from our case and country studies, our conclusions for the understanding of scientific governance in general and for the development of public engagement in particular, ten lessons for policy and practice, and some thoughts on the future agenda for research. An executive summary provides an outline narrative of our work.
This site also acts as the Archive for SPSG (the Science Policy Support Group), a UK non-profit company which developed and managed a range of programmes on science and technology policy between 1986 and 2003, covering such topics as public understanding of science, relations between defence and civil uses of science and technology, and academic-industry relations.