Engaging the Public in Technology Policy: A New Role for Science Museums

TitleEngaging the Public in Technology Policy: A New Role for Science Museums
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBell, L
JournalScience Communication
Volume29
Issue3
Pagination386-398
Date Published2008
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number15528545
KeywordsBOSTON , Informal , information , MASSACHUSETTS , museum , NANOTECHNOLOGY , PUBLIC , SCIENCE , SOCIAL , Technological , technology
AbstractAs science museums become increasingly engaged with informal education about technology, consideration of both social values and ethical controversies becomes more central to their role. While science has traditionally been represented as largely independent of these considerations, technology more visibly presents society with choices. The Museum of Science in Boston has been experimenting with a variety of public engagement approaches designed to help visitors think and talk about the societal implications of nanotechnology. These approaches are generally interactive and two-way, allowing for the collection of data about what people think in addition to simply disseminating information about technology to them. This aspect raises ethical issues in itself. What, if anything, should museums do with information about the opinions expressed? [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]Copyright of Science Communication is the property of Sage Publications Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
NotesBell, Larry 1; Email Address: lbell@mos.org; Affiliation: 1: Museum of Science, Boston; Source Info: Mar2008, Vol. 29 Issue 3, p386; Subject Term: SCIENCE museums -- Educational aspects; Subject Term: TECHNOLOGY -- Moral & ethical aspects; Subject Term: TECHNOLOGICAL innovations; Subject Term: NANOTECHNOLOGY -- Social aspects; Subject Term: INFORMATION dissemination; Subject Term: MUSEUM visitors; Subject Term: SOCIAL participation; Subject Term: BOSTON (Mass.); Subject Term: MASSACHUSETTS; Author-Supplied Keyword: informal science education; Author-Supplied Keyword: nanotechnology; Author-Supplied Keyword: public engagement models; Author-Supplied Keyword: science museums; Author-Supplied Keyword: technology and ethics; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541711 Research and Development in Biotechnology; Number of Pages: 13p; Document Type: Article
DOI10.1177/1075547007311971

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