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Remaking Participation: Science, Environment and Emergent Publics

December 07, 2016 by Jason Chilvers, Matthew Kearnes

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Changing relations between science and democracy – and controversies over issues such as climate change, energy transitions, genetically modified organisms and smart technologies – have led to a rapid rise in new forms of public participation and citizen engagement. While most existing approaches adopt fixed meanings of ‘participation’ and are consumed by questions of method or critiquing the possible limits of democratic engagement, this book offers new insights that rethink public engagements with science, innovation and environmental issues as diverse, emergent and in the making. Bringing together leading scholars on science and democracy, working between science and technology studies, political theory, geography, sociology and anthropology, the volume develops relational and co-productionist approaches to studying and intervening in spaces of participation. New empirical insights into the making, construction, circulation and effects of participation across cultures are illustrated through examples ranging from climate change and energy to nanotechnology and mundane technologies, from institutionalised deliberative processes to citizen-led innovation and activism, and from the global north to global south. This new way of seeing participation in science and democracy opens up alternative paths for reconfiguring and remaking participation in more experimental, reflexive, anticipatory and responsible ways.