Gretchen Gano, a lecturer with the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA), is speaking Dec. 6 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars In Washington, D.C., about engaging the public in evaluating technology use in science and in social decision-making.
During the forum, titled “Technology Assessment and Public Participation: From TA to pTA,” Gretchen and other speakers will explore ways to change the current paradigm wherein everyday people pay for technology through taxes and consumer purchases, but rarely are involved in assessing that same technology in a meaningful and influential way. The recent World Wide Views on Biodiversity project will be used as an example of how the public can be effectively engaged in these kinds of discussions.
As part of the World Wide Views project, Gano and two CPPA students worked last summer and earlier this fall to recruit 100 participants from across Massachusetts for a day-long discussion about environmental regulations and policies. The event, held at the Museum of Science in Boston, was one of 34 that took place that day in 25 countries around the globe. Results from all of the sessions were then compiled into a report, which was released in October at the meeting in Hyderabad, India, of the U.N. Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity.
CPPA has been able to participate in this innovative global project through a university Public Service Endowment grant to the Science, Technology and Society Initiative, a CPPA-affiliated endeavor that conducts multidisciplinary research on the intersection of science and technology with today’s social, political and economic issues.