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"Oh yes, robots! people like robots; the robot people should do something": Perspectives and prospects in public engagement with robotics

Wilkinson, Clare; Bultitude, Karen; Dawson, Emily

Authors

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

Karen Bultitude karen.bultitude@uwe.ac.uk

Emily Dawson



Abstract

Governmental and institutional policy making in a number of countries has embedded public engagement strategies as a primary channel to connect citizens with scientific and technological innovation. Robotics is emerging as a key site for such new technological activity and its applications are likely to be increasingly notable in our lives in coming years. Robotics researchers are investing considerable time and effort in "engaging" publics. Concentrating on the findings of 24 qualitative interviews with those actively organizing or engaging publics, across 11 public engagement activities focused on the robotics field within the United Kingdom, this article explores their conceptions of "public engagement" and its benefits and constraints. The results suggest that while the language of engagement has been embraced there remain practical, conceptual, and individual influences on the level of engagement which is experienced. © 2011 SAGE Publications.

Citation

Wilkinson, C., Bultitude, K., & Dawson, E. (2011). "Oh yes, robots! people like robots; the robot people should do something": Perspectives and prospects in public engagement with robotics. Science Communication, 33(3), 367-397. https://doi.org/10.1177/1075547010389818

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2011
Journal Science Communication
Print ISSN 1075-5470
Electronic ISSN 1552-8545
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 3
Pages 367-397
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1075547010389818
Keywords public, engagement, robotics, scientists, practitioners
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/972761
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1075547010389818

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