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Public dialogue better than new Jurassic World film

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The particular contribution of public dialogue to responsible innovation in science, compared to the messages in the new film, Jurassic World, is articulated in an article by Jack Stilgoe in Guardian Online on 24 June 2015.

The article mentions Sciencewise alongside public dialogue (see below). It is also worth noting that the Sciencewise-funded synthetic biology public dialogue project (completed in April 2011) identified five questions which fed into the development of responsible innovation - What is the purpose? Why do you want to do it? What are you going to gain from it?  What else is it going to do? How do you know you are right?

The article identifies three lessons from the film for responsible innovation: firstly that public concerns about science and technology tend to relate to its politics rather than to the technical particulars of the science; secondly that technologies are not predictable and containment is difficult even when sought - uncertainties will always remain; and thirdly about the politics of science and the importance of not ignoring the connections between science, profit and power, and what science is for.

The author defends public dialogue against the view that "films provide something approaching a complete picture of public concerns about technology, making public dialogue redundant". He suggests instead that: "As a supporter of public dialogue (full disclosure – I’m a member of the Government’s Sciencewise panel), I would say that dialogue involves more than extracting public opinion. It also invites scientists to consider afresh their responsibilities. In Jurassic World, Wu offers a scoundrel’s get-out: ‘If I don’t innovate, someone else will’. Thankfully, science doesn’t work that way. Scientists and society both have choices about the futures they create."