Public engagement in biosciences and biotechnologies: Reflections on the role of sociology and STS

Nicola J. Marks*, A. Wendy Russell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Approaches to public engagement in biosciences and biotechnologies have been informed by work done by sociologists and science and technology studies (STS) scholars, in particular their critiques of traditional elitist and technocratic approaches to science policy. In this article, we analyse one attempt at institutionalising public engagement in Australia, and focus on points of tension between different actors. We explore the roles of social scientists in policy and in public engagement, and the potential for opening up discussions and decision-making about the biosciences and biotechnologies. We reflect on the difficulties for social scientists in maintaining a critical yet constructive voice and draw attention to care as a possible ethico-political commitment and practice that may create opportunities and spaces for improving public engagement and policy making.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-115
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Sociology
    Volume51
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2015

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