'Fortunately, much has been learned in recent years about the
mechanisms of successful knowledge transfer. The Science, Economy
and Society Directorate has been tapping into a wealth of
expertise, profiting from the insights of communications
researchers throughout Europe. Among those experts who have
contributed to the Directorate's understanding of the subject are
Prof. Thomas Tydén, Director of Sweden's Darlarna Research
Institute, and Dr. Alister Scott of the University of Sussex.
Both stress an urgent need to move beyond the one-way model of
dissemination in which researchers present their results en bloc as
a fait accompli at the end of a project. Tydén and Scott are
adamant that researchers actively cultivate dialogue with the
intended beneficiaries of their work (i.e. policy makers and the
public) and sustain that dialogue through out the lifetime of a
Drawing on his experience in the public and private sectors,
Scott maintains that the "relevance and impact of knowledge can be
transformed through engagement" - engagement being Scott's
preferred term for effective two-way communication. Tydén, too,
emphasizes the importance of involving knowledge recipients in the
research process: "A basic rule for the transfer of knowledge is
that interest in assimilating the results of a study is promoted by
one's own participation in the planning of a project -
responsibility engenders interest ".
Tydén's insights are particularly interesting to the European
Union as they are based on Sweden's three decades of experience
with progressive research dissemination policies.'
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