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Science and society

. © INRA, Bertrand Nicolas
© INRA, Bertrand Nicolas


  • Sciences en questions is a work group whose goal is to encourage the public to think critically about research. To do so, they use organised debates that are posted online, as well as a collection of related published resources.
  • Agrobioscience: creating a dialogue between society and research,
    the magazine Sésame & the European Controversy Conferences in Marciac/Bergerac

Citizen science

  • Citizen science at INRA
  • Establishing a new relationship with society
  • Conducting pilot experiments in citizen science
  • Partnerships with non-market players of civil society

Developing a scientific, technical and industrial culture

  • Culture centre
  • Partnerships with teaching institutions
  • National Science Day

Communication and dissemination 

Find out more

about activities and partnerships in this area

Tripode. © INRA
Tripode © INRA

INRA seeks to contribute to the dissemination of scientific culture and develop discussion in society about science

Updated on 10/26/2018
Published on 04/01/2012

As a public research institute, INRA’s mission is to make the knowledge it has acquired available to all to support interaction between science and society and help keep all citizens informed.

The development of life sciences raises ever more pressing questions for society that have an especially strong impact on the relationships between people and nature, on biotechnologies and on food security. Agricultural research is increasingly being called into question today, and INRA has bolstered its actions to inform and encourage dialogue, debate and collaborative reflection with society. Its editorial policy, the activities of its ethics committee, the development of its collective scientific expertise activities and discussion of certain research guidelines are all a part of these actions.

The participation of citizens or representatives from different components of society (associations, unions, professional organisations, elected bodies, etc.) in developing research questions, discussing their results and potential applications, monitoring and evaluating innovations and appraising research programmes is necessary for the targeted management of research. This requires creating adequate forums for collaboration, expression, discussion and formalising societal needs.

Cooperation between scientists and citizens and between laboratories and associations is becoming increasingly widespread and diverse. The field of citizen science is fostered by scientific advancement, interest in studied objects and phenomena, the desire of various stakeholders to participate and successful experiences, and is further stimulated by the potential that digital technology offers. Upon the request of the Minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research, François Houllier, President of INRA, oversaw a report on citizen science in France. The report, submitted to the Minister on 4 February 2016, outlined best practices and recommendations for developing citizen science, including in schools, in a number of fields and themes where it could drive important insights.

The Delegation for Science in Society was created in 2015 to foster interaction between science and society. The delegation works to increase and provide structure to interactions with non-commercial civil society stakeholders and to develop citizen science processes.