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Avoiding Empty Rhetoric: Engaging Publics in Debates About Nanotechnologies


Dodds, SM and Kyle, R, Avoiding Empty Rhetoric: Engaging Publics in Debates About Nanotechnologies, Science and Engineering Ethics, 15, (1) pp. 81-96. ISSN 1353-3452 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11948-008-9089-y


Despite the amount of public investment in nanotechnology ventures in the developed world, research shows that there is little public awareness about nanotechnology, and public knowledge is very limited. This is concerning given that nanotechnology has been heralded as 'revolutionising' the way we live. In this paper, we articulate why public engagement in debates about nanotechnology is important, drawing on literature on public engagement and science policy debate and deliberation about public policy development. We also explore the significance of timing in engaging the public, and we make some suggestions concerning how to effectively engage publics. Our conclusions indicate the significance of scientific researchers, policy makers and representative consumer groupings in public reasoning towards a better public policy framework for debate about technological development.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:nanotechnology, public engagement, public policy. public trust, deliberative processes
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Ethical use of new technology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Dodds, SM (Professor Susan Dodds)
ID Code:58771
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Philosophy
Deposited On:2009-10-27
Last Modified:2012-11-30

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