Constructing Productive Engagement: Pre-engagement Tools for Emerging Technologies

Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (4):699-714 (2011)
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Engagement with stakeholders and civil society is increasingly important for new scientific and technological developments. Preparation of such engagements sets the stage for engagement activities and thus contributes to their outcomes. Preparation is a demanding task, particularly if the facilitating agent aims for timely engagement related to emerging technologies. Requirements for such preparation include understanding of the emerging science & technology and its dynamics. Multi-level analysis and socio-technical scenarios are two complementary tools for constructing productive engagement. Examination of the emergence of nanotechnologies in the food packaging sector demonstrates how these tools work. In light of recent policy demands for responsible innovation, but also more generally, the role of organizers of engagement activities is one that deserves reflection insofar as it can extend beyond that of preparation and facilitation



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