EFSA to hold consultative workshop with stakeholders on Independence and Scientific Decision-Making Processes

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) today announced it will hold a consultative workshop on 12 October 2011 in Brussels to discuss some of the key issues behind independence and trust in science and to explore in more detail comments made during the online public consultation for its Draft Policy on Independence and Scientific Decision-Making Processes. Stakeholders and interested parties are still able to contribute to the online consultation which runs until 16 September 2011 and can register to attend the workshop through the EFSA website before 23 September 2011.

Since its creation in 2002, EFSA has put in place a wide range of initiatives to uphold its core values of scientific excellence, openness, independence and transparency. The Draft Policy on Independence and Scientific Decision-Making Processes aims to integrate these initiatives into one comprehensive document, thereby strengthening the way in which the Authority assures independence and transparency in its work.

EFSA welcomes a public debate on this issue and the workshop will allow contributors to the public consultation on its draft policy and those with specific expertise in this area to express their views on the Authority’s approach to safeguarding independence and scientific integrity in its work.

The programme for the morning session of the workshop will include a roundtable discussion on general issues related to independence and trust in science, such as managing conflicts of interest in public organisations and public engagement and confidence in science. The panel will include speakers with both academic and public-sector backgrounds. The afternoon’s proceedings will comprise interactive sessions with contributors to the online public consultation, where specific comments and views will be explored in more detail. Audience members will be encouraged to engage in the discussions taking place throughout the day.

EFSA encourages all stakeholders and interested parties who would like to attend the October workshop to register as soon as possible. Places at the workshop need to be kept to such a number as to facilitate discussion and therefore those interested should apply early and indicate their specific reasons for wishing to attend.

EFSA also plans to provide a live webcast of the meeting via its website. Further information on the webcast will be made available closer to the workshop.

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