In the course of the last decades, the role of the citizen vis-à-vis science and technology has been significantly altered. Modern knowledge production brings science and citizens closer in many ways. Science and technologies in their application context have huge impact on health care, environment, working conditions, food production, agriculture, industrial production, social interactions, law enforcement, and several other areas of life, thus significantly shaping society and social systems. The stability and legitimacy of these changing social systems ultimately depend on the ability of citizens to appropriate science and technologies and develop means of exercising their own membership of the system.
How do citizens navigate and substantiate their own role in modern techno-scientific societies? The pervasiveness of science and technology in everyday social practices surely comes with the risk of some citizens being marginalised or excluded due to failure in keeping pace with the changes. The ability of citizens to identify with and act effectively in the knowledge society deteriorates if citizens do not understand or feel alienated from the social systems in which they live. And which mechanisms, procedures, and strategies will ensure that decisions concerning the developments in science and technology do not fail to serve the interest of the people who are so strongly affected by these developments? Which opportunities do citizens have for making their voices heard in matters of science and technology; and how do citizens make use of these opportunities to influence decisions and involve themselves in wider social discourse and public debate over the repercussions of science and technology for citizens and society at large?
The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy has been – and still is - involved in national and international studies of the public understanding of science and technology for more than a decade. The purpose of these has been to monitor, evaluate and interpret patterns and trends in public awareness, attitudes, and engagement in science and technology, with a particular emphasis on controversial life sciences.
Among the major ongoing and concluded projects are:
Karen Siune, Director, Dr.scient.pol., The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, AU
Niels Mejlgaard, Senior Researcher, The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, AU
Kaare Aagaard, Ph.D. fellow, Center for Forskningsanalyse, AU
Books and reports
Mejlgaard, N. 2007. Scientific Citizenship – Conceptualisation, Contextualisation, & Measurement. CFA, Aarhus (ISBN 978-87-91527-43-2). 169 p.
Gaskell, G., Stares, S., Allansdottir, A., Allum, N., Corchero, C., Fischler, C., Hampel, J., Jackson, J., Kronberger, N., Mejlgaard, N., Revuelta, G., Schreiner, C., Torgersen, H., & Wagner, W. 2006. Europeans and Biotechnology in 2005 - Patterns and Trends. European Commission’s DG Research, Brussels (ISBN 92-79-02804-9). 87 p.
Aagaard, K. & Mejlgaard, N. 2003. God Praksis for Forskningskommunikation. AFSK, Aarhus (ISBN 87-90698-83-5). 40 p.
Mejlgaard, N. (ed.) 2002. Focus on Biotechnology. Issues related to R&D in Biotechnology - Denmark in a Comparative Perspective. AFSK, Aarhus (ISBN 87-90698-56-8). 105 p.
Mejlgaard, N. & Siune, K. 2001. Folk og Forskning - Bioteknologi i Vidensamfundet. AFSK, Aarhus (ISBN 87-90698-52-5). 67 p.
Siune, K. & Mejlgaard, N 2001. Folk og Forskning - Opfattelser og Holdninger, 1997-2000. AFSK, Aarhus (ISBN 87-90698-43-6). 53 p.
Vinther, T. & Siune, K. 1998. Folk og forskning: Danskernes opfattelse af forskning. AFSK, Aarhus. (ISBN 87-90698-00-2).
Vinther, T. & Siune, K. 1998. Folk og forskning: Danskernes kilder til viden om forskning. AFSK, Aarhus. (ISBN 87-90698-03-7).
Vinther, T. & Siune, K. 1998. Folk og forskning: Danskerne om forskningspolitik. AFSK, Aarhus. (ISBN 87-90698-05-3).
Articles and papers
Mejlgaard, N. & Stares, S. 2009. Participation and Competence as Joint Components in a Cross-national Analysis of Scientific Citizenship. Accepted - Forthcoming In Public Understanding of Science.
Aagaard, K. & Mejlgaard, N. 2008. Forskning for folket. In BioZoom, 11(3): 8-11.
Aagaard, K. & Mejlgaard, N. 2008. Forskning for Folket. In Magasinet Humaniora, 23(3): 26-29.
Mejlgaard, N. & Stares, S. 2008. Indicators of Scientific Citizenship. Conference paper presented to PCST 10 Conference, 25-27 June 2008, Malmö University. 18 p.
Mejlgaard, N. 2008. Nøglen til GMO-fremtiden sidder i forskningsdøren. In Altinget, 2008-05-08, www.altinget.dk. 3 p.
Mejlgaard, N., Aagaard, K. & Siune, K. 2008. Differentieret Forskningskommunikation – Mål og Målgrupper i en Dansk Kontekst. In Økonomi & Politik, 81(1): 66-80.
Mejlgaard, N. & Stares, S. 2007. Indicators of Scientific Citizenship. Conference paper presented to International Indicators of Science and the Public Workshop, 5-6 November 2007, Royal Society, London. 18 p.
Aagaard, K., Mejlgaard, N. & Siune, K. 2005. Good Practice in Science Communication. Paper presented to the Expert Advisory Meeting in Science & Society, DG Research, European Commission, Brussels, 17 June 2004. 14 p.
Mejlgaard, N. 2004. Scientific Citizenship: Danish Citizens and Biotechnology. Paper presented to 8th International Conference on Public Communication of Science and Technology, 3-6 June 2004, Barcelona. Proceedings, 3 p.
Mejlgaard, N. 2003. Foresight and 'Scientific Citizenship'. Paper presented to Foresight and Scenarios, Methodology and Models Conference, 4-5 July 2003, European Commission, Brussels. Proceedings, 11 p.
Mejlgaard, N. & Siune, K. 2003. Public Participation in Technology Foresight. Paper presented to The 4th Triple Helix Conference, 6-9 November 2002, CBS, Copenhagen. Proceedings, 13 p.
Mejlgaard, N. 2002. Public perceptions of biotechnology – survey results. In Mejlgaard, N. (ed.) Focus on Biotechnology. Issues related to R&D in Biotechnology - Denmark in a Comparative Perspective. AFSK, Aarhus (ISBN 87-90698-56-8). p. 10-23.
Mejlgaard, N. 2001. Folk og forskning - Danskerne om IT-forskning.
Working paper, AFSK, Aarhus. 27 p.
Siune, K. & Mejlgaard, N. 2001. Bioteknologi - Opfattelser og holdninger blandt danskere, 1989-2000. Paper prepared for BIOSAM. 11 p.
Mejlgaard, N. 2001. Forskningsformidling - Danskernes kilder til viden om forskning. Paper prepared for CO-Industri. 14 p.
Siune, K. & Mejlgaard, N. 2001. Public Understanding of Science - Perceptions of and Attitudes towards Biotechnology in Denmark. Paper presented to the OECD Working Party on Biotechnology, 3-4 May 2001, OECD, Paris. Proceedings, 20 p.