Public Engagement in Research is a key element in “Responsible Research and Innovation”; a cross-cutting issue in current European research funding. Public engagement can advance energy R&D, by delivering results that are more in-line with society’s views and demands; and collaboration also unlocks societal skills and knowledge. This paper structures the ways to look at engagement, and gives some pointers on how to implement it in energy R&D, with various levels of intensity. The publics to engage with can be citizens, future users, affected persons, but also organisations that represent them. We have selected methods and tools that showcase a broad range of types of engagement that have been applied in The Netherlands or the UK. The cases are grouped based on the role of the researcher in the engagement process. These roles relate to discussing with, consulting, involving, collaborating with and supporting the various publics. This study shows that there is a diversity of tools and methods already available—open to variation, combinations and further development- that facilitate the participation of society in energy research. Not only for democratic reasons, but also for instrumental benefits in creating innovations to help solve the Grand Societal Challenge of the energy transition.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited