Public engagement brings new responsibilities to citizens that are involved to be ‘representative’. Yet at the same time it appears that many public participants may in fact work to conceptualise themselves as ‘unique’. When compared to ‘other people’ who they see as unconcerned, misinformed or relatively ignorant.
When compared to our understanding of the motivations and aims of scientists and engagement practitioners, we still know relatively little about how public participants understand, justify and explain their own involvement in engagement processes. In addition many practical resources on the benefits of engagement focus on the researcher’s and/or communicator’s perspective, few start from the perspective of the public voice.
This presentation will explore public perceptions of their role in public engagement, drawing on findings from a number of projects and evaluations.
Wilkinson, C. (2015, July). The ‘others’ and the public voice. Paper presented at International Science in Public Conference, Bristol, UK