This paper investigates the contribution of Web 2.0 platforms to upstream public engagement ambitions within the communication of science. It outlines a number of opportunities arising from Web 2.0 that urge public institutions to more fully integrate bottom‐up communication systems, rather than to develop their own. On this basis, it raises questions about the role of experts in the communication of science, how one should think about copyright and ownership of information, and the potential for the Internet to more fully cohere with the emerging biopolitics of science and technology communication research. Arguing on behalf of informal communication channels, the paper indicates how institutions and individuals are beginning to infiltrate the privileged space of educational systems and shape the public understanding of science. In particular, it details how the methodological interest to institute an upstream model of public engagement requires that the communication of science encompass methods of philosophical and ethical reasoning and interrogation. A specific focus is given to platforms of science communication about nanotechnology.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Upstream public engagement, ethics and web 2.0

Andy Miah   University of the West of Scotland

Bettina Hoermann   University of the West of Scotland

This paper investigates the contribution of Web 2.0 platforms to upstream public engagement ambitions within the communication of science. It outlines a number of opportunities arising from Web 2.0 that urge public institutions to more fully integrate bottom‐up communication systems, rather than to develop their own. On this basis, it raises questions about the role of experts in the communication of science, how one should think about copyright and ownership of information, and the potential for the Internet to more fully cohere with the emerging biopolitics of science and technology communication research. Arguing on behalf of informal communication channels, the paper indicates how institutions and individuals are beginning to infiltrate the privileged space of educational systems and shape the public understanding of science. In particular, it details how the methodological interest to institute an upstream model of public engagement requires that the communication of science encompass methods of philosophical and ethical reasoning and interrogation. A specific focus is given to platforms of science communication about nanotechnology.

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