- News + Media
CNS Seminar (In-house)
Thursday, October 3, 2013
2:00 - 4:00pm
Sarah Davies will give a talk titled: "Studying and Practicing Public Engagement: Deficit, Deliberation and Delight"
The last decades have seen increased attention to science communication and public engagement around the world. In the UK, for instance, a well-defined ‘deficit to dialogue’ narrative tells of the move from ‘public understanding of science’ (PUS) models of communication to more dialogic approaches based on two-way communication between science and its publics, exemplified in recent activities around nanotechnology. This tension – between ‘traditional’ PUS and ‘new’ forms of dialogue and deliberation – is central to the ways in which public engagement is commonly discussed, practiced and studied. It is, however, limiting in a number of respects: framing engagement in these terms ignores differences between ‘invited’ and ‘spontaneous’ forms of engagement; assumes that the central aim of engagement is to inform science policy and scientific decision making; and relies on an essentially disembodied model of communication. I reflect on these challenges to suggest some alternative ways that public engagement with science, and in particular with new and emerging technologies, can be imagined.