95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

WK 21 - Science and Citizens: a Workshop on Citizen Participation in Complex Social and Environmental Governance

Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
309, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Netra Chhetri
Nalini Chhetri
Spurred by controversies over genetically modified food, nanotechnology, and the politics of climate change, citizen participation in public policy has been the focus of scholarly inquiry in recent years. Participation by citizens in complex social and environmental issues, however, often raises questions about citizen competence and the quality of their contributions to policy making. A recent global event, the World Wide Views (WWViews) on Global Warming, organized by the Danish Board of Technology, demonstrated a productive method for consulting citizens in policy–making processes. A combination of deliberative polling, citizen summits, and voting conferences, the hybrid method utilized at WWViews emphasizes that citizens are in a unique position to weigh the pros and cons of different scientific and policy initiatives and to evaluate them from moral, social and cultural perspectives. The method, which belongs to a genre of participatory democracy, engages a broad range of citizens in cooperative deliberation and emphasizes dialogue prior to rendering judgments. This novel and practical method offers a unique and detailed insight into ordinary citizen’s views on complex social and environmental issues and has been credited for closing the gap between science, policy and citizens and has been used in wider social and political contexts. In this workshop, we share the insights about citizen participation in environmental governance gained through hosting a WWViews event. We will discuss the methodology involved in organizing citizen panels and share the experience of conducting WWViews event.

Registration Fee: $0

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