Towards the public sphere: reflections on the development of participatory technology assessment

Joss, S. 2002. Towards the public sphere: reflections on the development of participatory technology assessment. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society. 22 (3), pp. 220-231.

TitleTowards the public sphere: reflections on the development of participatory technology assessment
AuthorsJoss, S.
Abstract

With the development and increasing use of diverse public involvement methods over the past decade, formal technology assessment has shifted from a largely closed, intrainstitutional tool of policy analysis and advice to a tool for the social assessment of scientific-technological issues at the interface between politics and public discourse. Through citizens’ conferences, scenario workshops, and consensus conferences, technology assessment has effectively been opened up to the public sphere: Citizens and interest group representatives are drawn into the process of assessing scientific and technological issues alongside experts, the process often takes place in public, and its outcomes are made widely available for information and debate. This article analyzes the public involvement agenda in technology assessment from the conceptual perspective of the "public sphere." It discusses key features of public sphere–oriented technology assessment, including public access, actor involvement, and deliberation. And it considers the implications of the public sphere dimension for future developments in participatory technology assessment.

JournalBulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Journal citation22 (3), pp. 220-231
ISSN0270-4676
YearJun 2002
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/02767602022003006
Publication dates
PublishedJun 2002

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