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Paul T Kidd's Pages on the Future of Science & Engineering

Main Home > Paul T Kidd's Visions & Futures Space Home > The Da Vinci Project > Upstream Public Engagement

Reinventing Science and Engineering - Upstream Public Engagement

Reinventing Science and Engineering - Upstream Public Engagement


See-through Science is the title of the report that deals with public engagement in science. It was produced by a Think Tank called DEMOS and the report is not about public understanding of science, or even public engagement with the outcomes of scientific research, but with what is termed upstream engagement. This means involving the public in decisions about the public funding of research, so the involvement is with research policy, research strategy, and decisions to fund specific topics. It is also a process of democratising these activities and making the scientific community accountable. Upstream engagement deals with matters of what, why and how, and seeks to bring into the open exactly that which the scientific community on the whole keeps hidden - values, beliefs, hidden agendas, conflicts of interest, bias, lack of independence, vested interest … which is usually all hidden behind a façade of  rigorous, evidence-based and authoritative analysis and reporting.

Although the focus of the report is on science, the same thinking can also be applied to technology development and engineering, so one can also talk about See-through Technology and See-through Engineering. As with science, there are matters that the technology and engineering communities would prefer the public not to know about.

The See-through Science report (opens in new window).







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