This book tells the story of an unprecedented experiment in public participation: the government-sponsored debate on the possible commercialization of `GM' crops in the UK. Giving a unique and systematic account of the debate process, this revealing volume sets it within its political and intellectual contexts, and examines the practical implications for future public engagement initiatives.
The authors, an experienced team of researchers, produce a conceptually-informed and empirically-based evaluation of the debate, drawing upon detailed observation of both public and behind-the-scenes aspects of the process, the views of participants in debate events, a major MORI-administered survey of public views, and details of media coverage.
With innovative methodological work on the evaluation of public engagement and deliberative processes, the authors analyze the design, implementation and effectiveness of the debate process, and provide a critique of its official findings.
The book will undoubtedly be of interest to a wide readership, and will be an invaluable resource for researchers, policy-makers and students concerned with cross-disciplinary aspects of risk, decision-making, public engagement, and governance of technology.