Sciencewise was set up to deepen the dialogue between scientists, policy makers and the public about new and emerging technology.

The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) is a partner in the delivery of the UK government’s Sciencewise programme.

Sciencewise was set up to deepen the dialogue between scientists, policy makers and the public about new and emerging technology.  The programme brings together scientists, policy makers and the public to explore the opportunities and risks presented by technological advances.  This two-way dialogue provides policy makers with a deeper understanding of the public’s views as part of the policy development process.

How it works

The NCCPE is working with the Sciencewise team to design and deliver two workshops for senior researchers and policy officials, exploring areas of emerging science and technology and their implications for public engagement.  We ran the first of these in September 2017, exploring Big Data.

Making a difference

The NCCPE excited to be working with Sciencewise as it is helping policy makers to engage the public more effectively on the policy issues relating to new and emerging technology. This includes how the public views opportunities and risks, including how these benefits might be realised and risk might be mitigated. This open, frank discussion forms part of the evidence policy maker’s use in developing the UK’s approach towards a new and emerging technology.

House of Commons Inquiry

The intersection between public and policy engagement is of critical importance.  In 2016 the NCCPE made two submissions of evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Inquiry into Science Communication.

The committee’s report affirmed the vital role of public engagement in policy making:

"The Government has the primary responsibility for fostering and facilitating science engagement in its policy-making. It should maintain and strengthen national programmes such as Sciencewise and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. Their programmes should be routinely used across all government departments, so that public opinion is fully captured in developing government policy where science is involved."


Sciencewise is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact