Abstract
There is a growing call for greater public involvement in establishing science and technology policy, in line with democratic ideals. A variety of public participation procedures exist that aim to consult and involve the public, ranging from the public hearing to the consensus conference. Unfortunately, a general lack of empirical consideration of the quality of these methods arises from confusion as to the appropriate benchmarks for evaluation. Given that the quality of the output of any participation exercise is difficult to determine, the authors suggest the need to consider which aspects of the process are desirable and then to measure the presence or quality of these process aspects. To this end, a number of theoretical evaluation criteria that are essential for effective public participation are specified. These comprise two types: acceptance criteria, which concern features of a method that make it acceptable to the wider public, and process criteria, which concern features of the process that are liable to ensure that it takes place in an effective manner. Future research needs to develop instruments to measure these criteria more precisely and identify the contextual and environmental factors that will mediate the effectiveness of the different participation methods.
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DOI 10.1177/016224390002500101
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References found in this work BETA

Facts Versus Fears.Paul Slovic, B. Fischoff & Sarah Lichtenstein - 1982 - In Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic & Amos Tversky (eds.), Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge University Press. pp. 463--489.
Participatory Analysis, Democracy, and Technological Decision Making.Frank N. Laird - 1993 - Science, Technology and Human Values 18 (3):341-361.
Comparative Risk Assessment: Where Does the Public Fit In?Ralph M. Perhac - 1998 - Science, Technology and Human Values 23 (2):221-241.

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Citations of this work BETA

Remaking Participation in Science and Democracy.Matthew Kearnes & Jason Chilvers - 2020 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 45 (3):347-380.
A Typology of Public Engagement Mechanisms.Lynn J. Frewer & Gene Rowe - 2005 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 30 (2):251-290.
Survey Article: Citizen Panels and the Concept of Representation.Mark B. Brown - 2006 - Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (2):203-225.
Evaluating Public-Participation Exercises: A Research Agenda.Lynn J. Frewer & Gene Rowe - 2004 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 29 (4):512-556.

View all 56 citations / Add more citations

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