‘Younger people have like more of an imagination, no offence’: Participant perspectives on public engagement
Wilkinson, C. , Dawson, E. and Bultitude, K. (2012) ‘Younger people have like more of an imagination, no offence’: Participant perspectives on public engagement. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 2 (1). pp. 43-61. ISSN 2154-8455
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21548455.2011.628503
A wide range of work has reported on the outcomes of public engagement activities and the views expressed by public participants towards specific areas of science and technology. Such work has rarely gone on to explore with public participants their attitudes to the engagement experienced itself, often focusing instead on more practical or quantifiable aspects. This article draws on public participants’ reactions to eleven ‘engagement’ events, occurring across the UK in 2007-2008. Reporting on 33 semi-structured interviews we focus on their views of participation and engagement in terms of motivations, expectations and expertise. The results suggest that participants have considerable expectations in terms of information and interaction, operate with critical but respectful notions of other ‘publics’ and expertise, and may develop habitual tendencies regarding engagement.
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