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Nano Jury UK: the Reflection Team’s/ ‘Evaluators’ Perspective Dr Tee Rogers-Hayden & Prof. Nick Pidgeon School of Psychology, University of Cardiff e-mail:

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Presentation on theme: "Nano Jury UK: the Reflection Team’s/ ‘Evaluators’ Perspective Dr Tee Rogers-Hayden & Prof. Nick Pidgeon School of Psychology, University of Cardiff e-mail:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Nano Jury UK: the Reflection Team’s/ ‘Evaluators’ Perspective Dr Tee Rogers-Hayden & Prof. Nick Pidgeon School of Psychology, University of Cardiff CIPAST, Dresden, June 2006.

2 Who are we? Dr Tee Rogers-Hayden comes from a background in science-society relationships. She has a analysed GM debates in NZ & the UK, and the unfolding of nanotechnology in the UK - including the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering’s inquiry. She is currently working as a Centre for Nanotechnology in Society, University of California Santa Barbara, Affiliated Research Fellow, at Cardiff University analysing and conducting nano deliberation in the USA, Canada and the UK. Prof. Nick Pidgeon is a Professor of Psychology at Cardiff University from 1 February He was a member of the Royal Society / Royal Academy of Engineering nanotechnology study group which reported in July 2004.

3 Why evaluation/reflection? Public debates are notorious for replicating mistakes of past efforts. Public participation is rarely evaluated Often when public dialogue’s are evaluated it’s seen as an antagonistic exercise We are confident that nanotechnology raises some unique issues for public interaction We wanted to utilise our experience to be part of a learning exercise at this special moment in time. It was decided that we would conduct a ‘reflection’ rather than a ‘formal evaluation’ to emphasis our focus on learning.

4 What did we do? EVALUATION/REFLECTION UPON: * nano jury processes * the jurors’ experiences

5 How did we do it? participant observation of the oversight panel (early involvement is a key to evaluation) participant observation (camera work etc.) of the nano jury sessions in June and July 2005 brief interviews with jurors on the first two nights of the nano jury to ascertain their expectations of the jury process. thirty minute focus group (July 21) to elicit jurors’ views on the most successful aspects of the jury—aspects that they thought could have been improved—and their own criteria for judging the success of the jury based on this discussion some qualitative questions were constructed and sent out to all jury members

6 What contextual issues are inseparable from, and part of, a reflection on Nano Jury UK ? 1.Nano is the ‘test-case’ in the UK government’s ‘deliberative turn’. 2.Nanotechnology is unique as a topic for debate 3.Nano Jury UK was one of the first nano dialogues

7 1. Nano is the ‘test-case’ in the UK government’s ‘deliberative turn’. Nano in wake of BSE and GM publics were mistakenly reassured about the safety of consuming meat from animals suffering from ‘mad-cow disease’ publics were seen as involved in the issues of GM too little too late to have impact on the technology trajectory Publics seen as having lost trust in science Deficit model of (one-way) science communication seen as needing to be replaced with dialogue – this has led to a call for ‘upstream engagement’.

8 This has lead to… a call for a move debate from late ‘downstream’ discourse to early ‘upstream engagement’. The government’s commissioning of The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering Report :Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: Opportunities and Uncertainties – which reinforced this call Nano jury is one of the first ‘upstream’ dialogues on nano

9 2. Nanotechnology is unique as a topic for debate Low public awareness RS/RAE UK baseline survey Jan. 2004: 29% (262) were aware of the term, 19% (172) could offer any form of definition Topic emerging no real examples of products using the special properties found at the nano scale the future is ‘convergence when technologies (IT, bio, nano, robotics, neuroscience) come together Issues of high scientific uncertainty Left talking of ‘imaginaries’ Kearnes M Macnaghten P and Wynne B 2005 Nanotechnology, governance and public deliberation What role for the social sciences? Science Communication

10 Ramifications for reflecting on Nano Jury UK How did the process deal with, and how did the jurors experience, the following low nano knowledge future based concepts complexity & uncertainty of nano conflicting perspectives on/visions for nano potential to influence tech trajectories 3. Nano Jury UK was one of the first nano dialogues

11 What are highlights of our Reflection ? Nano Jury UK congratulated on innovative, timely, upstream approach It occurred before public nano knowledges Included science, & policy communities 2 keys aspects to their approach & experience of jurors A) multi-stakeholder oversight panel B) small interactive group

12 A) multi-stakeholder oversight panel In contrast to the usual citizens jury model in which the jury present their findings to a press conference and/or government representative and hope they are taken up Nano Jury UK’s panel included representatives from sectors dialogues need to influence technology trajectories (incl.govt., civil society, & science /industry) Broad panel meant that the jury was framed widely not just on science but social and ethical issues This also meant that a range of witnesses with conflicting perspectives were selected

13 B) small interactive group Enjoyable, awareness raising process The jury format was excellent for discussing unfamiliar, complex material of high scientific uncertainty. Nano requires learning new information without falling into the ‘education’ mode where only science is seen as the valid discourse and Nano Jury UK did this..

14 Further implications, and beyond… It also important that the jurors are able to, and the process enables jurors to, negotiate conflicting worldviews, naturalised assumptions in society (like ‘progress’, & free-trade), and ‘imaginaries’. Some jurors reported finding these aspects challenging and this provides a potential area for future research and application. If nano is not about products but imaginaries how do we discuss what is naturalised in society, conflicting versions of ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’ and visions of the future? And how do we turn this discussion into a product that policy makers and others can utilise?


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