New thoughts about old issues and old thoughts about new issues: Reconceptualizing STS approaches to engagement

Torben Elgaard Jensen (Author), Alan Irwin (Author)

    Research output: Non-textual formSound/Visual production (digital)Research

    Abstract

    The large and growing literature on 'public engagement' has centred on now-familiar themes of science and democracy, critiques of the deficit theory, relations between the sciences and their publics, and the need to 'open up' scientific governance to wider social issues and concerns. In this paper, we hope to suggest some new theoretical departures and perspectives on what has become an 'old' (but nevertheless significant) set of issues. How has the notion of 'engagement' migrated over time and what new meanings has 'engagement' acquired? What socio-technical arrangements are necessary for the performance of 'homo participatus' and how does this concept relate to more established notions of 'homo economicus'? When and how can it be said that the publics have 'engaged' - and what does this form of taking into account imply? Finally, what of the moral dimensions within STS accounts of engagement: what alternative moralities might be identified and performed within different re lationships of engagement? The paper will draw upon and develop a number of empirical sites in order to explore the changing configurations of engagement and new ways of thinking about engaging. These will include the operation of 'engagement initiatives' within scientific governance and attempts by private enterprises to engage their customers in the development of new innovative products. Our intention will be stimulate discussion and also to highlight some of the issues which will be developed in the larger session to which this paper is an introduction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2008
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event4S/EASST Conference : Acting with science, technology and medicine - Rotterdam
    Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …

    Conference

    Conference4S/EASST Conference : Acting with science, technology and medicine
    CityRotterdam
    Period01/01/2008 → …

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