See-through science: why public engagement needs to move upstream

Wilsdon, James and Willis, Rebecca (2004) See-through science: why public engagement needs to move upstream. Project Report. Demos, London.

PDF (See-through Science) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (438kB) | Preview


Spurred on by controversies over BSE, GM crops and nanotechnology, scientists gradually started to involve the public in their work. They looked first to education as the answer, then to processes of dialogue and participation. But these efforts have not yet proved sufficient.

Scientists need to find ways of listening to and valuing more diverse forms of public knowledge. Only by opening up innovation processes at an early stage can we ensure that science contributes to the common good. Debates about risk are important. But the public also want answers to the more fundamental questions at stake in any new technology: Who owns it? Who benefits from it? To what purposes will it be directed?

In this influential 2004 Demos report, James Wilsdon and Rebecca Willis argued that public engagement had to move upstream. The pamphlet offers practical guidance for scientists, policymakers, research councils businesses and NGOs – anyone who is trying to make engagement work.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Project Report)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: James Wilsdon
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2014 10:38
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2014 10:38

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update