Making the case for Public Engagement

Public engagement is a foundational key of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), having a crucial role to play in the establishment of bonds between science and society based on trust, two-way dialogue, and long-term thinking. It asks for commitment from a variety of actors, such as the public who is invited to participate, researchers who open up their work and challenge their research practices by involving others, and organisations which bring in public engagement in their strategic thinking and decision-making. This webinar asks how value is created and demonstrated at all these levels for a strong case for public engagement.


Presentations and examples used by our speakers

Maud Radstake, Utrecht University

Marzia Mazzonetto, StickyDot

Laurene Cheilan, Bristol University

  • Presentation slides
  • If you are interested in issues of inclusion and exclusion regarding public engagement, this book is great:

Dawson, E. (2019). Equity, Exclusion and Everyday Science Learning: The Experiences of Minoritised Groups. Abingdon, Oxon, New York: Routledge.

Additionally it has been made into a comics, which is a really enjoyable read, you can find it here:

  • Two reports focusing on the UK landscape but providing great insights on the realities of PE:

Useful links shared by speakers and participants

Public engagement capacity building programmes

Equity and inclusion

Engaging the excluded, an event of Berlin Science Week, 4 November 2021:


  • Laurène Cheilan, PhD student at the School of Education, Bristol University and Co-founder of CultureInstable, United Kingdom

After working for five years in the theatre field and for another five years in science centres, Laurene Cheilan is now in her final PhD year of investigating the implementation of a public engagement culture within the Innovative Training Network (ITN) Europah, in partnership with Graphic Science and the University of Bristol.

  • Marzia Mazzonetto, Co-founder  and CEO Stickydot, Belgium

Marzia Mazzonetto is CEO and co-founder of Stickydot, a Brussels collective committed to pushing public engagement in science further, ensuring that all voices are included when it comes to shaping research and innovation. With a background in social science and science journalism, Marzia’s main area of expertise is developing methodologies that support multi-stakeholder engagement. She is passionate about sustainable and inclusive co-creation processes leading to social innovation and participatory policies. She is also Executive Director of BE participation, a non for-profit organisation fostering inclusive empowerment processes which enable Brussels’ citizens to be actively involved in shaping the city of the future they wish for. She coordinates the EU-funded project MOSAIC (Mission-Oriented SwafS to Advance Innovation through Co-creation).

  • Dr. Maud Radstake, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Maud Radstake, PhD, is head of the Public Programs department of the Centre for Science Communication and Culture at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. The department develops and hosts public programs and activities at the interface of academia and society for a broad range of audiences, and offers training and advice to academic and support staff who (want to) do public engagement.  Maud is also one of the track leaders for Public Engagement in the university’s Open Science Program. She has a master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and a PhD in Arts and Social Sciences. Before working in Utrecht, she worked as researcher and program manager on societal research and public engagement at a national program on societal issues in relation to life sciences, and as policy advisor on patient participation in an academic hospital.


  • Cristina Paca, ECSITE, GRACE expert partner
  • Marie Couëdic, ECSITE, GRACE expert partner


Did you enjoy this event? Did you miss it?

>>> Be sure to attend the following GRACE webinars, running every Tuesday from 26 October to 14 December!


This event is part of the eight final webinars the GRACE project is holding every Tuesday from 26 October to 14 December, where project partners and external experts share their findings and provide useful knowledge to implement RRI in research performing and funding organisations

For almost three years, GRACE project partners have worked towards implementing fundamental institutional change in 6 research performing and funding organisations. With an intense mutual learning programme and a co-creation environment, six expert partners have supported six other partners in developing a set of specific RRI-orientated Grounding Actions in their organisation, paving the way for further institutional change.

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