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Engaging with strangers and brief encounters: Social scientists and emergent public engagement with science and technology

Wilkinson, Clare

Authors

Clare Wilkinson Clare.Wilkinson@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Science Communication



Abstract

Social scientists operate in a range of roles within the public engagement with science and technology (PEST) agenda. Social scientists strengths in respect to ‘translation’ and ‘intermediary’ skills have captured attention at a time of disciplinary pressure to demonstrate impact. This article explores how social scientists engaged in PEST consider their role(s), drawing on 21 semi-structured interviews and Horst and Michael’s (2011) proposals of an emergence model, in addition to ongoing discussions related to expertise. The findings suggest there are many benefits when social scientists engage with ‘strangers’, both scientific and public, but that focusing only on pragmatic elements misses the true opportunity such working relationships can offer amongst critical friends.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Print ISSN 0270-4676
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 3-4
Pages 63-76
APA6 Citation Wilkinson, C. (2014). Engaging with strangers and brief encounters: Social scientists and emergent public engagement with science and technology. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 34(3-4), 63-76. https://doi.org/10.1177/0270467614552841
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0270467614552841
Keywords social scientists, public engagement, impact, science, technology
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0270467614552841

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