Chapter 4: Re-making the modern constitution: the case for an observatory on public engagement practices
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Emerging patterns of public engagement in science and technology are at the heart of an ongoing historical transformation of science. It is here that a much debated ‘new social contract for science’ is currently being negotiated in practice. Alternative future constitutions of science and technology are implied in various ways of doing public engagement. In this chapter, I develop an analytics for differentiating and relating practices of public engagement. This is led by three questions: Why is the public concerned about science and technology? How does the public, or publics, engage with science and technology? Who speaks for the public, in which ways, and what kinds of political orders does this imply? In conclusion I make the case for establishing an observatory to trace forms of public engagement as they unfold in practice in order to systematically map their diversity and assess effects on the future constitution of knowledge societies.

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