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Problematic publics: A critical review of surveys of public attitudes to biotechnology

Davison, A., Barns, I. and Schibeci, R. (1997) Problematic publics: A critical review of surveys of public attitudes to biotechnology. Science, Technology & Human Values, 22 (3). pp. 317-348.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/016224399702200303
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Abstract

This article discusses a range of recent major surveys of public attitudes toward biotechnology. The authors identify a number of problematic features of the surveys: the use of predominantly consumerist rather than civic conception of public discourse; the assumption of a unitary "general public," a "cognitive deficit" approach to public understanding of science; and the presumption of a politically neutral and instrumental ist model of science and technology. The authors then examine some alternative ap proaches to exploring perceptions of biotechnology among a diversity of interested publics, including more focused dialogical surveys, consensus conferences, and parliamentary inquiries.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Sage Publications
Copyright: 1997 SAGE
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6517
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