Dis-inviting the Unruly Public

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de Saille, S. (2015)
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Recently, Welsh and Wynne have argued that policy efforts to include ‘the public’ in dialogue about technoscience have been accompanied by a simultaneous rise in control over uninvited publics, particularly protestors. Research with a group of knowledge-based activists in the UK suggests a further category between invited and uninvited. The concept of an ‘unruly public’ functions within the sociotechnical imaginary to disinvite those whose response is unwanted or unpredictable, while still appearing to be engaging with ‘the public’ as a whole. Listening to the unexpected questions of the unruly public may in fact support, rather than hinder, efforts to incorporate social concerns into frameworks for responsible innovation at both national and European levels.
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