Upping the ante: A conceptual framework for designing and evaluating participatory technology assessments

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Radical uncertainty, political controversy and public distrust in emerging areas of science and technology is fuelling moves towards new forms of governance centred on ex ante or ‘upstream’ public and stakeholder engagement with policy. Yet how is such deliberation and inclusion to be achieved in contentious national policy processes? We present a contextual framework that seeks to understand this question better and use it to reflect on two high-profile UK examples of ‘new governance’ in genetic modification and radioactive waste management. In doing this, we argue for: better definition of who/what is represented in such processes; mixed methodologies both to integrate analytic-deliberative dimensions and address questions of representativeness; and more systematic evaluation of the outputs and outcomes of appraisal processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-728
Number of pages16
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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