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Upstream Engagement

Upstream engagement is a catchphrase referring to recent developments that attempt to bring members of the (multiple) publics and stakeholders together in dialogue about emerging technologies, before research and development (R&D) trajectories are established. Science and technology (S&T) communicators will be familiar with calls for them to move beyond the deficit model of communication (in which differences in perspective between scientists and the public were believed to be solely because of the public's lack of understanding of science). More science “education” was then prescribed to bring the views of the public closer to that of the scientists rather than exploring the contextual issues the members of the public might have been considering. Yet two-way dialogue in the form of upstream engagement, although a simple notion, ...

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