Two weeks ago, our partners Anna Aris from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Athena Institue and Clara Boissenin from Ecsite – The European network of Science Centres & Museums were in Rotterdam representing SocKETs at the Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference 2023. Read about the three sessions we contributed to.

Making values work for technological innovation

On 12 April, Anna Aris was joined by two partners of the TechEthos project, Greta Alliaj from Ecsite and Wenzel Mehnert from the Austrian Institute of Technologies for a discussion addressing the question: how to make values work for technological innovation?

Comparing the experience of their respective projects, the speakers offered a reflection on the concept of values, how their definition and approach to it has evolved throughout their project and how their understanding of shared values has changed in facing diversity. Among questions emerging from the audience, different topics sparked debated such as the difficulty of assessing impact when talking about something as subjective as values, the different approaches to values between applied and theoretical science, or the importance of diversity & inclusion in citizen engagement processes on technological innovation.  

Is technology taking over?

A poster showcasing Let’sTech Together, our project exhibition, was displayed at the conference, with free access to the game of KET dilemmas. Clara Boissenin from Ecsite gave a presentation of the exhibition through which she encouraged the audience to question their relation to technology and reflect on how they can be part of innovation processes. Sparking reflections on our perceptions of innovation and our insecurities associated to it, she generated the text of her presentation through ChatGPT.

Can we tell stories about processes?

On the 13 April, Clara Boissenin was joined by her colleague from TechEthos Greta Alliaj to animate an exhibition prototyping workshop. Participants were gathered in groups and were invited to choose between two processes to explain: making circular economy work for society, or moving towards a health human-machine relationship. Starting with an ideation exercise, participants organised their ideas based on their level of feasibility and their level of innovation. They were then handed persona cards to help them better understand the needs, expectations and motivations of their audience. On this basis, they came up with an idea of an exhibition for their selected topics.