Donnerstag, 05. Dezember 2013, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Deficit, Deliberation and Delight

Sarah R Davies, PhD (University of Copenhagen)

Department of Science & Technology Studies, 'Seminar room STS' (C0602)
Universitätsstraße 7 / II / 6th floor, 1010 Wien


The last decades have seen increased attention to science communication and public engagement with science 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 emerging technologies. 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, might be imagined, practised, and analysed.


Department of Science & Technology Studies


Karin Neumann
Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung