This year’s theme is Systems Approaches to Research and Practice, my panel with Daniel Kleinman, Ann Bostrom and David Berube was entitled “Public and Policy Feedback: S&T Communication and Engagement”. My talk, “Imag(in)ing Futures: Engaging Urban Publics” reported on the Futurescape City Tours model of public engagement.
I first outlined contestations about contemporary models of S&T engagement. I then introduced the most recent large-scale public engagement exercise by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University called Futurescape City Tours which uses experimental public dialog methods. I asserted that there is value in instrumentalized S&T engagement as a mechanism for capacity building and illustrated this by reporting on new efforts to build a network for participatory technology assessment in the US.