The Big Picnic Project

Big Questions – engaging the public with Responsible Research and Innovation on Food Security

The BigPicnic team involves nineteen Partner organisations, including botanic gardens, universities, a science shop, an institute for art, science and technology, and an international NGO. Co-ordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), BigPicnic Partners span twelve countries across Europe and one in Uganda. These Partners will use a range of travelling exhibitions, activities, science cafés and participatory events, co-created with local people, to generate dialogue and build greater understanding of food security issues.

This collaborative approach aims to give a voice to adults and young people on Responsible Research and Innovation, communicating their views to policy-makers, sharing ideas, and encouraging debate on the future of our food.

BigPicnic has seven objectives: 

  1. Increase engagement with local and global food security issues through outreach exhibitions and science cafés among diverse audiences.
  2. Co-create, with diverse audiences, accessible and novel mechanisms to facilitate interaction and bridge the gap between the public, policy makers and researcher.
  3. Develop botanic gardens as centres that promote dialogue between public, researchers and policy makers
  4. Improve the understanding and realization of Responsible Research and Innovation through the provision of best practice case studies for an RRI toolkit
  5. Utilize the findings of other EU funded projects: INQUIRE, PLACES and VOICES.
  6. Build the capacity of botanic gardens across Europe to develop and deliver co-creation approaches with their local and regional audiences
  7. Co-develop tools for measuring the engagement of partners and co-creation teams with RRI and the benefits of the co-creation participatory approach adopted in the project.

Why botanic gardens?

BigPicnic will demonstrate that botanic gardens are spaces where people can engage with, and help develop the solution to, complex and controversial issues in science. Botanic gardens are uniquely placed to address both social and scientific issues surrounding food security. Throughout history, botanic gardens have continuously responded to pressing societal and environmental changes and needs. Their collections of living plants provide an essential resource for scientific research, conservation and public engagement.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 710780.

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