Participatory research: towards a science with, for (and by?) society.Fabian DOCAGNE, director of the « Science and sociéty » department,DISC, Inserm
Participatory research is a modality of research in which citizens actively and deliberately bring their input to researchers in order to increase scientific knowledge. This definition implies that scientific knowledge is based both on academic and experiential knowledge.
The empowerment of citizens has favored the emergence of participatory research and brought new opportunities of fruitful dialogue and joint action. This enables giving better answers to societal issues, by giving a closer attention to expectations of the society, and strengthening the links between science and society members, who can in turn better understand the processes and constraints of scientific research. Researchers and members of the society can then join their forces to build research projects together and carry out each of its phases together: definition of the questions, funding and organizational issues, production and/or collection of data, analysis and interpretation of results, as well as valorization, promotion, development and implementation of innovations.
During this seminar, we will review in detail what defines participatory research. Through concrete examples, we will illustrate the diversity of its modalities, its fields of application and the disciplinary fields that it covers. We will then present the obstacles that can arise and the levers that may be used to facilitate the construction of participatory research projects. Finally, we will address the question of good practices that need to be complied to in order to carry out these projects, and we will explain what participatory research can bring to health research in comparison to more "classical" research.