Frustrated  by  the  failure  of  representatve  governments  to  create  responsive  climate policies at natonal and global  levels, an  increasing number of people are  looking to public engagement as an essental component of successful climate governance. What it means to

efectvely engage the public in response to climate change remains an open and challenging queston, bound up with difering defnitons and assumptons about what consttutes publics’, ‘engagement’ and even climate change.

While it is beyond the scope of this paper to address these complexites, our eforts focus on positoning scientfc citzenship as an analytc lens to highlight the various confguratons of knowledge, power and agency that take shape when citzens are drawn into public dialogues about climate change. The tangled relatonship between science and citzenship has been a central feature of modern, industrialized societes for some tme as techno-scientfc advances not only open new spaces for citzen acton, but also draw atenton to the politcal nature of knowledge producton, consumpton and distributon. Taking into consideraton the mutually consttutve  nature  of  science  and  society,  scholars  situated  in  the  feld  of  science  and

technology studies have raised questons about shifing confguratons of politcal inclusion and exclusion, as well as the distributon of rights and responsibilites,  in contexts in which scientfc knowledge  is central to defnitons of the public good (Elam and Bertlsson 2003; Jasanof 2004; Wynne 2005). This work ofers an alternatve to the predominantly procedural focus of public partcipaton and deliberatve democracy scholarship that tends to rely on an ahistorical, decontextual and predominantly normatve understanding of citzenship.

In what follows, we outline three working models of scientfc citzenship, situatng these within shifing relatons between science and society that have taken shape over the past few decades. We do so  in order to highlight the divergent assumptons about what consttutes good citzenship in relaton to science. We conclude by raising questons about the extent of politcal and cognitve agency aforded to people when they are asked to engage with climate change and climate science.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Scientfc citzenship, public engagement and climate change

Gwendolyn G. Blue   Dept. of Geography, University of Calgary

Jennifer Medlock   Dept. of Communicaton and Culture, University of Calgary

Frustrated  by  the  failure  of  representatve  governments  to  create  responsive  climate policies at natonal and global  levels, an  increasing number of people are  looking to public engagement as an essental component of successful climate governance. What it means to

efectvely engage the public in response to climate change remains an open and challenging queston, bound up with difering defnitons and assumptons about what consttutes publics’, ‘engagement’ and even climate change.

While it is beyond the scope of this paper to address these complexites, our eforts focus on positoning scientfc citzenship as an analytc lens to highlight the various confguratons of knowledge, power and agency that take shape when citzens are drawn into public dialogues about climate change. The tangled relatonship between science and citzenship has been a central feature of modern, industrialized societes for some tme as techno-scientfc advances not only open new spaces for citzen acton, but also draw atenton to the politcal nature of knowledge producton, consumpton and distributon. Taking into consideraton the mutually consttutve  nature  of  science  and  society,  scholars  situated  in  the  feld  of  science  and

technology studies have raised questons about shifing confguratons of politcal inclusion and exclusion, as well as the distributon of rights and responsibilites,  in contexts in which scientfc knowledge  is central to defnitons of the public good (Elam and Bertlsson 2003; Jasanof 2004; Wynne 2005). This work ofers an alternatve to the predominantly procedural focus of public partcipaton and deliberatve democracy scholarship that tends to rely on an ahistorical, decontextual and predominantly normatve understanding of citzenship.

In what follows, we outline three working models of scientfc citzenship, situatng these within shifing relatons between science and society that have taken shape over the past few decades. We do so  in order to highlight the divergent assumptons about what consttutes good citzenship in relaton to science. We conclude by raising questons about the extent of politcal and cognitve agency aforded to people when they are asked to engage with climate change and climate science.

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