Citizens as Concerned but Knowledge-Poor Watchdogs: Attributions of Legitimacy to Social Actors in the Management of Biotechnology Issues

Chapitre de livre


État de publication: Publiée (2014 )

Titre du livre: Activist Science and Technology Education

Éditeur: Springer Netherlands


Intervalle de pages: 511-530

ISBN: 978-94-007-4359-5


Résumé: The concepts of participation and deliberation have been invested with strong symbolic weight in the field of science education and, more specifically, in the teaching of socio-scientific issues (SSIs). However, the teaching of socio-scientific issues has not yet emerged as the “natural” or “self-obvious” place for focusing attention on the socio-political management of socio-scientific issues. In the first section of this chapter, I outline a number of conceptual contributions originating in political philosophy, a field that has engaged in sustained reflection concerning the participation of ordinary citizens in the deliberations surrounding socio-political decision making. In the second section, I present the viewpoints of post-secondary/pre-university students (who are also training to become primary or secondary school teachers) concerning the management of socio-scientific issues. I also provide illustrations of how these students describe the roles played by various actors – citizens, industry, government, and members of the scientific community. In the third section, I identify the opportunities offered by these descriptions for redistributing legitimacy and re-examining the modalities of citizen participation in the management of socio-scientific issues.

Théorie de l'activité: