Wageningen Dialogues - Science in Society Dialogues

Roles of scientists in the public arena: A balancing act

In these times of unprecedented social challenges, what role(s) do scientists have in the public arena? What is the contribution of the 'pure scientists' who provide objective facts and figures? Do you think all scientists should become ‘honest brokers’, presenting alternative scenarios? Or is the moral obligation of scientists to openly campaign for a better, fairer and more sustainable world? Is a combination of roles possible?

Scientists clearly have a role to play in society. But we need to be aware of the different roles scientists can and do play and how society looks at scientists who are active in the public arena. In this series we explore the different roles, their impact on society and what scientists need to contribute in a meaningful way. Because, aren’t there multiple roles to take?

You are invited to participate in this first of a series of dialogues about the roles of scientists in the public arena. With this series, organized by Wageningen Dialogues, we want to explore the value of the different positions that scientists can take, as well as their impact on society. Aim of the series: help strengthening our interactions with society.

Join the conversation

You are invited to join us on December 12th at 15:00 in Omnia to share your experiences and deepen our insights together! Please register yourself via this link. By accepting the attached calendar invite, you can save the date in your calendar. Feel free to forward this invitation to fellow WUR colleagues who might also like to engage in this dialogue.

Practical information

Date:             December 12th, 2022.

Time:            15:00 – 17:00; followed by drinks

Location:       Omnia | Momentum 1 & 2

Who:            Scientists, Communication Experts, Managers

Organisers:    Pakhuis de Zwijger and Wageningen Dialogues


15:00           Walk-in, coffee & tea

15:15           Welcome and purpose of this dialogue series


                    Examples of roles scientists play in the public arena

                    Exploratory dialogue

                    Sharing insights

                    Next steps

17:00 –         Closing & Drinks

We look forward to seeing you on the 12th of December.

On behalf of the Wageningen Dialogues Design Team Role of the Scientist