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Citizen engagement processes as information systems: the role of knowledge and the concept of translation quality

[journal article]

Horlick-Jones, Tom; Rowe, Gene; Walls, John

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Abstract An important direction in recent thinking about public understanding of science and technology is embodied in the international trend within many democratic countries towards the promotion of citizen engagement. These developments entail the participation and deliberative involvement by lay publics in planning, decision-making and policy-making situations. In this paper we argue that citizen engagement exercises can usefully be understood as information systems. This characterization leads us to propose that the effectiveness by which such exercises utilize sources of knowledge—what we term their translation quality—should be adopted as a new criterion for their evaluation. We illustrate the applicability of this proposal by analyzing the GM Nation? public debate, a government-sponsored citizen engagement exercise that took place in Britain in 2002—3.
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 259-278
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 16 (2007) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)