Sunday, March 19, 2006

Technology forums to gather citizen feedback

In an interview with Earth & Sky Radio, Dave Guston, Director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU), recently outlined his views of citizen technology forums as tools for public outreach:
"The idea is in some sense to turn the tables on the experts. . . . What we're doing in the citizens technology forums is instead making the deliberating panel a group of lay citizens. And the citizens get to frame the question and the way the experts address that question. And they get to make inquiries directly of the experts themselves who have the status before the citizens panel more of witnesses than of people doing the deliberating and recommending to the policy makers."
CNS-ASU will conduct citizen technology forums as part of their research team on Deliberation and Participation. Among its goals:
"To develop multiple, plausible visions nanotechnology-enabled futures, elucidate public preferences – especially values from underserved communities – for various alternatives and, using such preferences, help further refine future visions and enhance contextual awareness."

(Click here for Earth & Sky radio's
complete list of nano programs.)