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Difficulties in evaluating public engagement initiatives: reflections on an evaluation of the UK GM Nation? public debate about transgenic crops

Rowe, G., Horlick-Jones, Thomas Edward, Walls, J. and Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank 2005. Difficulties in evaluating public engagement initiatives: reflections on an evaluation of the UK GM Nation? public debate about transgenic crops. Public Understanding of Science 14 (4) , pp. 331-352. 10.1177/0963662505056611

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Abstract

In the realm of risk management, and policy-making more generally, “public engagement” is often advocated as an antidote to pathologies associated with traditional methods of policy-making, and associated deficit-model-driven communication strategies. The actual benefits of public engagement are, however, difficult to establish without thorough evaluation of specific engagement processes. Unfortunately, rigorous evaluation is difficult, and, perhaps for this reason, it has rarely been undertaken. In this paper we highlight a number of these difficulties in the light of our experiences in evaluating a major engagement initiative, namely the GM Nation? publice debate on the possible commercialization of transgenic crops, which took place in Britain in 2003. The difficulties we identify seem likely to be relevant to many, if not most, engagement evaluations. They are concerned with both theoretical/normative (how one should evaluate) and practical (how one does evaluate) issues. We suggest a number of possible solutions to these evaluation difficulties.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0963-6625
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:06
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/32753

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Cited 75 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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