The 5th Gago Conference on European Science Policy takes place on October 6th 2022 at Heidelberg and is dedicated to the topic Cancer research: society at the frontiers of knowledge.
Cancer is a major and growing societal challenge, putting an immense pressure on European health systems as 3.5 million people are diagnosed with this disease every year. If no further action is taken to prevent it, this number is expected to grow due to increased longevity, unhealthy lifestyles and environmental conditions. On the other hand, more people will live longer with cancer, following the recent introduction of personalized treatment and care, often at the frontiers of knowledge.
The Horizon Europe Mission on Cancer has ambitious goals to deliver tangible results by 2030. Achieving those results will require that research and innovation is combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as with citizens´ engagement.
Some of the Mission´s objectives – like understanding cancer mechanisms and creating new techniques for diagnosis and treatment - are directly related to the development of research and innovation. Other objectives like prevention and early detection or improving the quality of life for patients and their families have a more societal nature and require citizens` engagement with cancer research.
Policies should be created to:
Promote healthy lifestyles, namely regarding food and exercise
Promote screening programmes for early detection
Promote social change regarding cancer patients and their better inclusion in society
informing and empowering citizens to improve their health and well-being and contributing for a better inclusion of cancer patients in society. Science centres, patient associations, NGOs, along with research laboratories, can be mobilized to design and deploy programmes to achieve citizens´ engagement with cancer research.
The Gago Conferences on European Science Policy provide an international forum to strengthen the debate on emerging issues of research and innovation policy in Europe, as well as to promote the necessary involvement of major stakeholders in policy making and the diffusion of knowledge in science education and culture. The Conferences seek also to strengthen international scientific and technological cooperation networking in Europe towards a positive impact on a global scale.
Four years after the first Gago Conference on Science Policy, in Porto, the Heidelberg Conference will revisit the advances of Cancer Research and the societal challenges to ensure that the Mission on Cancer achieves the desired impact by 2030.