Developments in frontier science and emerging technologies and their applications necessitate individual value tradeoffs and periodically lead to value conflicts at the societal as well as at the cultural level. In order to be accepted, such new technologies need to be compatible with values of those concerned. A current approach to cope with these issues is to engage publics in deliberations and councils on S&T and covers a spectrum of consultative to participative formats, like consensus conferences, scenario workshops, citizen summits, hearings, focus groups and the like. But only a few activities have aimed directly at discussing and unravelling relevant, driving values for opinions regarding S&T.
 
We therefore designed a method for public dialogue with a special focus on people’s values and tested it in a pilot study with Austrian students in regard to the following issues: “Biometrics Security - or Surveillance technology” and “Dual-Use Dilemma in Pathogen Research”. We identified participants’ values and views and identified expectations and positive as well as possible negative future scenarios and recommendations for both cases.
 
We would like to present the concept of our value-dialogue method and its potential and discuss its advantages and disadvantages against the background of the collected data on the value discussions about biometrics and pathogen research.
 
The work has been done within the framework of the project “The Landscape and Isobars of European Values in Relation to Science and New Technology.
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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Value-sensitive public engagement with science and technology

Brigitte Gschmeidler   dialog gentechnik

Hans-Peter Tscheru   dialog gentechnik

Developments in frontier science and emerging technologies and their applications necessitate individual value tradeoffs and periodically lead to value conflicts at the societal as well as at the cultural level. In order to be accepted, such new technologies need to be compatible with values of those concerned. A current approach to cope with these issues is to engage publics in deliberations and councils on S&T and covers a spectrum of consultative to participative formats, like consensus conferences, scenario workshops, citizen summits, hearings, focus groups and the like. But only a few activities have aimed directly at discussing and unravelling relevant, driving values for opinions regarding S&T.
 
We therefore designed a method for public dialogue with a special focus on people’s values and tested it in a pilot study with Austrian students in regard to the following issues: “Biometrics Security - or Surveillance technology” and “Dual-Use Dilemma in Pathogen Research”. We identified participants’ values and views and identified expectations and positive as well as possible negative future scenarios and recommendations for both cases.
 
We would like to present the concept of our value-dialogue method and its potential and discuss its advantages and disadvantages against the background of the collected data on the value discussions about biometrics and pathogen research.
 
The work has been done within the framework of the project “The Landscape and Isobars of European Values in Relation to Science and New Technology.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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