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Public dialogue in science and technology: an international overview

Executive summary

This policy paper carries out an international review of public engagement in science and technology. Drawing on policy documents, academic articles and seven expert interviews, it maps international approaches to public engagement which have a variety of different purposes and intensity levels, and considers the strengths and weaknesses of a number of different models.

The paper mainly focuses on a particular form of public engagement called public dialogue. Public dialogue involves facilitated deliberation between citizens, experts and policy makers, and has been the principal mode of engagement for the Sciencewise programme. We compare Sciencewise’s model of engagement to similar organisations in other countries (e.g. Danish Board of Technology. Norway’s Board of Technology, the Netherlands’ Rathenau Instituut, and TA-Swiss), to highlight differences, similarities and learning points.


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