Reflecting Upon the UK’s Citizens’ Jury on Nanotechnologies: NanoJury UK
Volume 3, Issue 2
Tee Rogers-Hayden, Cardiff University
Nick Pidgeon, Cardiff University
Public engagement on nanotechnologies has begun in the US, New Zealand, and within a number of countries of the European Union including the U.K. Despite the impetus and considerable enthusiasm for the idea of public engagement around nanotechnologies, this development has also been met with anxiety, particularly about amplifying risk concerns among the publics and about its utility. In this article, Tee Rogers-Hayden and Nick Pidgeon discuss the U.K.’s first Citizens’ Jury on nanotechnologies. They contend that NanoJury UK is a successful first step, with its recommendations revealing a balanced approach to nanotechnologies. This outcome suggests that the science and business communities need not fear that engaging the public will solely highlight negative consequences or concerns about risks.
However, if dialogue with the public on new technologies is to become a regular element of sciencesociety relationships, this will need constant reflection and evaluation. The authors offer reflections on NanoJury UK, in particular regarding the special nature of nanotechnology issues and the challenges inherent in all forms of public engagement when dealing with an issue of low public awareness and high scientific uncertainty. The authors tease out what we can learn from NanoJury UK for future exercises in public engagement on nanotechnologies.
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