27 May 2010 - 28 May 2010 All day Bateman Auditorium,Gonville & Caius and CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge



Registration online via the link at the top right hand side of this page.
Conference fee: £10 (full); £5 (student)
Deadline for booking: Friday 21 May 2010


Dr Robert Doubleday (Geography, University of Cambridge)
Professor Susan Owens (Geography, University of Cambridge) 

The year 2000 saw publication of the Phillips Inquiry into the BSE crisis, the House of Lords report on Science and Society, and the establishment of public commissions on human genetics and agricultural biotechnology. This workshop will explore what has been  learned during this ten year experiment in opening up UK science policy to greater public participation. Have changes contributed to democratising the governance of science and technology, or do they amount to no more than window dressing? Does a narrow attention to public engagement obscure deeper challenges confronting the relationship between the contemporary policy process and democracy?
This workshop will consider the UK government’s commitment to “upstream engagement” on the purposes of research and innovation.  Through exploring specific cases of nanotechnology and food security research discussion will explore how productive this focus on imagined technological futures has been as a starting point for public dialogue.
This workshop brings together academics and policy makers to consider what can be learned from political theories of policy to addresses two questions:
1. Do imagined technological futures represent a productive site for democratisation of research and innovation policies?
2. Does recent discussion of ‘grand challenges’ present opportunities for wider public participation?

Confirmed speakers:

Sir David Baulcombe (Professor of Botany, University of Cambridge)
Judy Britton (Joint Head of Science inGovernment, UK Government Office for Science)
Lindsey Colbourne (Head of Public Dialogue, Sciencewise-ERC)
Sue Davies (Which?)
Dame Ann Dowling (Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cambridge)
Maarten Hajer (Director, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency  Professor of Public Policy, University of Amsterdam)
Alan Hughes (Professor of Enterprise Studies, University of Cambridge)
Richard Jones (Professor of Physics, University of Sheffield)
Phil Macnaghten (Professor of Geography, University of Durham)
Andrew Maynard (Chief Science Adviser, Project on Emerging  Nanotechnologies, Wilson Centre, USA)
John O’Neill (Professor of Political Economy, University of Manchester)
Albert Weale (Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy, UCL)
Brian Wynne (Professor of Science Studies, University of Lancaster)

Please see the link at the right hand side of the page to view the provisional programme. 

There will be a Keynote Lecture by Professor Maarten Hajer on Thursday 27 May at the Bateman Auditorium, Gonville and Caius College. Please see the link at the right hand side of the page for further information.

For administrative enquiries please contact Michelle Maciejewska

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk