Science and innovation policy (SIP) is typically justified in terms of public values while SIP program assessments are typically limited to economic terms that imperfectly take into account these values. The study of public values through public value mapping (PVM) lacks widely-accepted methods for systematically identifying value structures within SIP and its public policy processes, especially when there are multiple stakeholder groups. This paper advances the study of public values in SIP using nanoscale science and engineering (NSE) policy by demonstrating that quantitative analysis of value statements can provide a credible and robust basis for policy analysis. We use content analysis of over 1,000 documents with over 100,000 pages from major contributors to the NSE policy discourse to identify and analyze a wide range of public value statements. Data analysis and reduction methods reveal a multifactor structure of public values that has been consistently cited by a range of actors in an NSE research policy network.
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The two terms ‘nanotechnology’ and ‘NSE’ are closely related but not exactly synonyms. We use ‘NSE’ primarily, except where ‘nanotechnology’ provides greater accuracy or appears in a quotation.
PVM was initially developed by the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) as part of a Rockefeller Foundation grant and, more recently, through the support of the NSFs Science of Science Policy (SciSIP) program.
For instance, the related international STIR (Socio-Technical Integration Research) project (NSF #0849101) investigates the feasibility of integrating public and social values into laboratory research (http://cns.asu.edu/stir/).
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Fisher, E., Slade, C.P., Anderson, D. et al. The public value of nanotechnology?. Scientometrics 85, 29–39 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-010-0237-1