Agora: research in the public arena


The SNSF selected 14 science communication projects of the second Agora call. The quality of the planned interaction between researchers and the public was a key criterion in the evaluation process.

Agora finances projects that engage in public science communication. The SNSF and the Mercator foundation, which is also associated with the programme, wish to encourage knowledge transfer and dialogue on scientific topics. The interaction between researchers and the public is a key criterion in the evaluation of applications. This interaction can take a variety of forms: the public may participate in discussions and ask questions, or it may be consulted on social and scientific matters or actively contribute to research projects.

Over 30 funded projects

The 14 new projects complement the 17 projects already launched last year. Young Muslims in Switzerland, genomics, anxiety related illnesses or solar energy: the diversity of the topics illustrates the many areas of interaction between science and the public. The projects propose to discuss these topics by means of exhibitions, debates and workshops. Research will also be the subject of an interactive event. New media are widely used: e-books and tablets help to transmit mathematical knowledge; smartphone apps enable public participation in biodiversity research or illustrate how the voice works.

Agora is open to prospective and advanced researchers. It finances small projects with a budget of at least CHF 5000 and larger initiatives up to an amount of CHF 200,000. Co-financing for more ambitious projects is also an option.

CoRe division