Since the times of the first scientific revolution in the XVII Century, the traditional role of the University has been twofold: Teaching and Higher Formation on the one hand and Research on the other hand. In modern times, however, the progressive strategic increase of the role of scientific research in the growth not only cultural but economic of a modern country and the very perception of this new role has brought about the awareness that the two above mentioned missions were no longer adequate.
It is now felt that a third mission besides research and formation and higher teaching qualifies a modern University. This has come to be broadly referred to as "The third mission of the University" and refers to the need for the University to provide a bridge between higher knowledge and the entity which commissions and supports research, society.
It is, thus, more and more widely recognised that the University should not just equip the young with the necessary knowledge and know-how to teach and make research but make them aware of the necessary ties between science and society. The researcher must learn not only to communicate his research to his peers (this he has always done) but make clear the reasons for doing it to the layman and the society at large. This is all the more necessary since most scientists that ever lived are still alive today and, in addition, since the large majority of them operates within or with the University system.
Several examples and good practices will be illustrated with the final aim of bringing the scientific community to understand that the ultimate goal is what could be termed RESP (Researcher's Engagement with Society and Public).
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