Practising scientific citizenship

The notion of 'scientific citizenship' has recently emerged from S&T studies, suggesting that science-society integration creates a demand for citizen participation in S&T policy-making. In Denmark, a number of 'public outreach' policies and institutions have been developed, with the purpose of bridging the gap between the highly specialized activities of research and the lay public. Institutions such as consensus conferences, public hearings, and web-based citizen panels offer a framework for negotiating the contract between science and society and represent new approaches to public participation in decision-making processes, yet the wider implications on democracy and citizenship remain largely unexamined.

The project provides empirically based analyses on the practice of 'scientific citizenship' in various forms and within a variety of contexts, and relates the evidence to normative theories of participatory democracy. The project combines Danish data from large-scale surveys on the public understanding of S&T with equivalent European data from the Eurobarometers.

The project was conducted in collaboration with The Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University. Professor Andrew Jamison was supervising the project.

Project participant:
Niels Mejlgaard, Senior Researcher


Mejlgaard, Niels, 2004. Scientific Citizenship: Danish Citizens and Biotechnology. In Public Communication of Science & Technology 2004. Presented at the PCST conference, Barcelona, June 2004.

Mejlgaard, Niels, 2003. Foresight and 'Scientific Citizenship'. In DG RTD. Foresight to Scenarios - Methodology and Models. Presented at the Norway 2030 Conference, Brussels, July 2002.

Mejlgaard, Niels and K. Siune, 2003. Public Participation in Technology Foresight. In Breaking Boundaries – Building Bridges. Presented at the 4th Triple Helix Conference, Copenhagen, November 2002.