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Public Underst Sci. 2012 May;21(4):447-64.

Science, governance, and public participation: an analysis of decision making on genetic modification in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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1
Political Science and Public Policy, School of Social Sciences,The University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand pkurian@waikato.ac.nz

Abstract

The acceptance of public participation in science and technology governance in liberal democratic contexts is evident in the institutionalization of a variety of mechanisms for participation in recent decades. Yet questions remain about the extent to which institutions have actually transformed their policy practice to embrace democratic governance of techno-scientific decision making. A critical discourse analysis of the response to public participation by the Environmental Risk ManagementAuthority (ERMA), the key decision-making body on genetic modification in Aotearoa/New Zealand, in a specific case demonstrates that ERMA systematically marginalized concerns raised by the public about risk management, ethics, and ecological, economic, and cultural issues in order to give primacy to a positivist, technological worldview. Such delegitimization of public perspectives pre-empts the possibility of the democratic governance of science.

PMID:
23038858
DOI:
10.1177/0963662510382362
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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