eCite Digital Repository

Problematic Publics: A Critical Review of Surveys of Public Attitudes to Biotechnology


Davison, AG and Barns, I and Schibeci, R, Problematic Publics: A Critical Review of Surveys of Public Attitudes to Biotechnology, Science, Technology, & Human Values, 22, (3) pp. 317-348. ISSN 0162-2439 (1997) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/016224399702200303


This article discusses a range of recent major surveys of public attitudes toward biotechnology. The authors identify a number of problematic features of the surveys: the use of predominantly consumerist rather than civic conception of public discourse; the assumption of a unitary "general public," a "cognitive deficit" approach to public understanding of science; and the presumption of a politically neutral and instrumentalist model of science and technology. The authors then examine some alternative approaches to exploring perceptions of biotechnology among a diversity of interested publics, including more focused dialogical surveys, consensus conferences, and parliamentary inquiries.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:History and philosophy of specific fields
Research Field:History and philosophy of engineering and technology
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Law enforcement
UTAS Author:Davison, AG (Associate Professor Aidan Davison)
ID Code:29506
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:61
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2005-07-06
Last Modified:2005-07-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page