UCL News


Symposium into public engagement

25 November 2003

The UCL Centre for Bioscience and Society held a two-day symposium, 'Public Engagement with Science: The Politics of the Process', on 5-6 November 2003.

The event included keynote addresses by UCL's President & Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, and Professor Jacquie Burgess (Geography), who set up UCL's Environment & Society Research Unit (ESRU).

Public engagement in science-based policymaking has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, the latest high-profile example being the controversy over GM foods. In light of this the symposium will ask, 'Who ultimately benefits from public engagement?', 'Are public consultations ignored by those who commission them?' and 'Are methods for public engagement really neutral tools?'.

A series of workshops on day two followed the keynote addresses on day one. These were led by UCL academics from a wide range of departments including Psychology, Geography and Science & Technology Studies, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of the subject.