Published April 1, 2024 | Version Version 1. With watermark
Project deliverable Open


  • 1. ROR icon University of Central Lancashire


This deliverable report presents a thorough analysis of data collected from a series of 14 focus groups and 10 individual interviews conducted in the context of T1.3 ’Focus Groups with Citizens’. The task aimed to gain a multi-stakeholder perspective on what affects trust in science, and how it could be enhanced. To achieve this objective, focus groups and interviews were conducted across three different stakeholder groups: general public, journalists and researchers.

The analysis is guided by the following objectives:

  • To examine the perspectives of different stakeholders (general public, journalists, researchers) regarding the actors responsible for upholding trust in science.
  • To understand how different actors may hinder or facilitate trust.
  • To derive recommendations for actions that should be taken for enhancing trust in science, across different actors.

The main findings include the following:

  • Across the three stakeholder groups, participants mostly referred to policymakers (including government, politicians, and legislators at the national and international level), media actors, scientific actors and educational actors as the ones who bear the greatest responsibility for safeguarding trust in science.
  • Policymakers, media, scientific and technological actors were regarded as occupying a dual function: as facilitators of trust and as hinderers of trust.
  • In terms of who should take actions to enhance trust in science, and what those actions might be, there was variation across stakeholder groups.
    • Participants in the general public groups considered this to be the role of policymakers, as indicated by the number of actions suggested.
    • Participants in the journalists’ and researchers’ group were reflective of their own role in enhancing the public’s trust in science. In both these groups, participants underlined the institutional constraints that may influence how science is communicated and how the general public is engaged.

Our analysis expands our theoretical understanding of the Stewards of Trust by pointing to additional actors whose role was further explored in WP3 in Deliverable 3.2: educational actors and policymakers. This report will also contribute to the development of the VERITY recommendations for Stewards of Trust for tackling mistrust and strengthening the open science and science citizen co-creation of research and innovation (R&I).


D1.3 Report from the focus groups - Final watermarked.pdf

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