Science, public engagement and deliberative democracy in Australia and New Zealand
- 10:30–10:40 Sujatha Raman – Introduction – science, engagement and democratic innovation in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand
- 10:40–10:55 Wendy Russell – The political decontextualization of science and technology issues in deliberative processes
- 11:00–11:15 Rachel Ankeny – Using participatory approaches to explore food values: Prospects and limits
- 11:20–11:35 Rebecca Paxton and Simon Niemayer – The Australian Citizens’ Jury on genome editing and lessons for convening its Global Citizens’ Assembly counterpart
- 11:40–11:55 Tatjana Buklijas – “Deliberative workshops” on future water sources for Auckland: International models and local context
- 12:00–12:30 Discussion
- 1.30–1.45 pm Simon Niemeyer and Rebecca Paxton – Epistemic deliberation: Comparison of citizen deliberative reasoning on human genome editing to experts
- 1.50–2.05 pm Matthew Kearnes (co-authored with Laura McLauchlan, Richard Mellor, Kari Lancaster and Alison Ritter) – Atmospheres, spaces and huddles: reflecting on participation-in-practice in drug policy reform
- 2.10–2.30 pm Discussion. Chair: Sujatha Raman or Rachel Ankeny – Part II. 60-minute session of workshop – deliberative methods to support an inclusive and decisive discussion to develop a research/action agenda for Australia + New Zealand
Organiser: Tatjana Buklijas
University of Auckland
Social studies of science and deliberative democracy have interconnected histories, with democratic, deliberative engagement a key recommendation arising from social understandings of science and technology, and the topics of philosophy of science and science and technology studies central concerns in the theory and practice of deliberative democracy. Despite these interconnections, cross-fertilisation between these fields remains inadequate. Deliberative democracy designs continue to ignore STS insights about the framing of technologies and publics and their co-production. At the same time, STS scholars draw on or critique models of deliberative mini-publics without engaging with deliberative theory and newer ideas about deliberative systems. With the rapid uptake of deliberative democracy globally in the last 10 years, and with issues involving science and technology some of the most contentious and important issues of our time (global pandemic, climate change, extinction, gene editing), the need for these fields to inform one another has never been greater.
This session brings together Australian and New Zealand scholars working in the fields of deliberative democracy and HPS/STS/science engagement and communication to discuss some of the questions at the intersections between HPS, STS, and political science e.g.:
- How can HPS and STS insights and approaches challenge the notion of “epistemic abstinence” in deliberative theory and contribute to contemporary debates about truth-concerns?
- What kind of issues lend themselves best to (or require) deliberative processes? What does success look like for public deliberation on science and what are its features?
- With the global turn towards deliberative democracy, how do we give a local flavour to deliberative processes? How do we bring cultural specificities (such as the need to involve and integrate indigenous people and, especially, indigenous knowledge) to bear when designing deliberative processes? And how can these local specificities be embraced in work towards global governance processes?
The expected outputs of this workshop are:
1. academic: special issue of a journal (TBD) with a joint essay about the research agenda and individual papers.
2. report targeted at policy community (TBD).
The session will be of interest to HPS & STS/SSS and deliberative democracy scholars. It is intended to speak to the international HPS/STS and DelDem communities, and to policy makers interested in deliberative approaches to science and technology issues and conversations.
Session 1. Presentations with discussants
Thursday 25 November 10.30 – 12.30 am
Introduction – science, engagement and democratic innovation in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand
The political decontextualization of science and technology issues in deliberative processes
Using participatory approaches to explore food values: Prospects and limits.
Rebecca Paxton and Simon Niemeyer
The Australian Citizens’ Jury on genome editing and lessons for convening its Global Citizens’ Assembly counterpart.
“Deliberative workshops” on future water sources for Auckland: International models and local contexts
Session 2. Thursday 25 November 1.30–3.30 pm
Simon Niemeyer and Rebecca Paxton
Epistemic deliberation: Comparison of citizen deliberative reasoning on human genome editing to experts.
Matthew Kearnes (co-authored with Laura McLauchlan, Richard Mellor, Kari Lancaster and Alison Ritter)
Atmospheres, spaces and huddles: reflecting on participation-in-practice in drug policy reform.
Discussion. Chair: Sujatha Raman or Rachel Ankeny
Part II. Deliberative methods to support an inclusive and decisive discussion to develop a research/action agenda for Australia + New Zealand
Rachel A. Ankeny is Professor of History and Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, where she leads the Food Values Research Group which has performed several recent projects focused on uses of participatory methods to understand community and consumer food values; she also convenes Public Engagement in Science and Technology Adelaide (PESTA).
Tatjana Buklijas is a Senior Lecturer in Global Studies and Associate Director Academic at Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Tatjana’s disciplinary background and interests are in history and social studies of science. She is the principal investigator of the ongoing (2020–2022) research project designing a New Zealand-adapted deliberative democratic model for public decision-making around complex issues involving science and technology, which, as a test case, includes a collaboration with Auckland’s water utility company Watercare.
Matthew Kearnes is Professor and convenor of the of Environment and Society Research Group at the School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales, and President of the NSW Geographical Society. Matthew is an associate editor for Science as Culture (Taylor & Francis) and serves on the editorial board Science, Technology and Society (Sage).
Simon Niemeyer is Professor and Director of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, currently located at the University of Canberra. His research covers the broad fields of deliberative democracy and environmental governance. He also leads an international project, The Global Citizens’ Assembly, which will bring together 100 citizens’ from across the globe to deliberate on regulation of genomic technologies, in conjunction with a documentary film partner (GenePool).
Rebecca Paxton is a research associate at the College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania. She is part of the research team for the Australian Citizens Jury on Genome Editing through her affiliation with the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. Rebecca is also affiliated with the Food Values Research Group at the University of Adelaide where her research has focused on decision making in food and farming systems, including the potential application of gene editing in the Australian livestock sector.
Sujatha Raman is Associate Professor and Director of Research at the Australian National University's Centre for Public Awareness of Science (CPAS). She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Responsible Innovation (Taylor & Francis) and Engaging Science, Technology and Society (open access journal of 4S: the Society for the Social Studies of Science). She leads a program of research at the ANU on the role of science communication in promoting science in the public good. This includes projects on responsible innovation (in collaboration with CSIRO) and on the role of language in engaging publics about gene drive (Wellcome Trust project led by the University of Exeter in collaboration with ANU, North Carolina State University and the University of Gulu). Before she moved to Australia in mid-2018, Raman was Director of the UK Leverhulme Research Programme, 'Making Science Public', led by the University of Nottingham in collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick.
Wendy Russell is a transdisciplinary pracademic. She is affiliated with the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University, where she convenes a course in Science Dialogue, and conducts research on responsible innovation, and is an associate of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. Her research interests include socio-technical integration, public engagement with science, social dimensions of synthetic biology, impacts and facilitation of deliberative processes, and research impact. Wendy is also an engagement practitioner and director of Double Arrow Consulting, a Canberra business specialising in deliberative engagement. Wendy previously worked in the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, managing the award-winning Science & Technology Engagement Pathways (STEP) program. Before this, she was senior lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of Wollongong, where she researched social aspects of biotechnology, transdisciplinary inquiry, and technology assessment.