Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/06/sciencewise_grants/

UK gov urges science to engage with public

And stumps up £1.2m to encourage dialogue

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 6th September 2004 10:13 GMT

The UK government will spend £1.2m between now and 2006 to encourage science to engage with the public, the minister for science and innovation Lord Sainsbury announced today. "Sciencewise" grants will fund projects "to facilitate dialogue between scientists and the public" on new technologies which may have "new ethical, safety, wealth and environmental complications".

The government has identified key areas in which it considers more chat between boffins and Joe Public would be beneficial:

Lord Sainsbury said: "New technologies create new exciting opportunities but can also raise concerns and fears. The science and society agenda is about building a series of inclusive debates to explore the ethical, safety, health and environmental implications of emerging technologies. We have the opportunity to harness the potential of new science and technology for the good of all but there is understandable public unease about the rapid introduction of new technologies and their regulation. We need much greater consideration and debate by scientists, industry and government and the public of the regulatory issues raised by new technologies."

The Sciencewise grant panel will be chaired by University of Bristol professor Kathy Sykes. Full details are at www.sciencewise.org.uk. ®

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