Throughout history, science has proven to be a transformative force that advances rapidly. Scienitsts are known for acquiring knowledge, making discoveries and inventions. All of this they are doing whitin a societal, economic and political context.
However, many scientists are not conscious about this context and only interact at the interface to society, economics and politics, when circumstanes push them to do so. Although it might not be straighforward apparent, the work of scientists is narrowly connected to society, economics and poltics. This connection to these fields is often missing due to the lack of a common language, spaces of debate and mutual learning among stakeholders.
In order to bridge the gap between disciplines and bring the issues related to politics, society and economics closer to scientists, we decided to get active and propose a solution to this challenge.
After presenting his initial idea to some dozen entitites from the scientific community of Barcelona, Yoran Beldengrün contacted several scientific institutions looking for scientists interested in joining him in creating the Scientists Dating Forum. Over 70 people from various backgrounds responded within 1 month to his call, so at the beginning of 2016 the initiative was discussed in bars in reduced groups of people who shared similar interests. The number of young scientists who wanted to get involved grew quickly and at that point bars where no more sufficient for containing our enthusiasm.
Therefore, we met at the Residence for Researchers, a public association created by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and by the Generalitat de Catalunya (government of Catalonia), located in the heart of Barcelona. The Residence for Researchers aims at organising scientific and cultural activites and promoting discussion and dialogue, which are indeed the roots of our project. In those initial meetings at weekends, members of the Scientists Dating Forum got to know each other better and created a good atmosphere to start this collective project. The first official meeting with all team members was on 7th February 2016 and Scientists Dating Forum was constituted as an association on 22nd April 2016.