Public engagement for environmental sustainability in a technological age: introduction to a symposium
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Rapidly evolving developments in new and emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, transgenics, cloning, and synthetic biology, to name a few, are changing the fundamentals of the environment we live in. There has simultaneously been a significant increase in governmental efforts in liberal democracies to enhance public engagement in the governance of science and technology in the name of fostering trust, producing better decisions, and ensuring democratic accountability. Despite this trend, studies of such public engagement initiatives around decision-making on new technologies reveal that many such efforts remain limited and superficial even as governments and policy-making authorities increasingly turn to technological innovations both for economic productivity and for solutions to stem systematic environmental destruction.
Indeed, notwithstanding decades of work by scholars in the fields of deliberative democracy, science and technology studies, and environmental policy, it is...