Public Engagement on Genetically Modified Organisms: When Science and Citizens Connect: A Workshop Summary
The National Research Council's Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences held a 2-day workshop on January 15-16, 2015, in Washington, DC to explore the public interfaces between scientists and citizens in the context of genetically engineered (GE) organisms. The workshop presentations and discussions dealt with perspectives on scientific engagement in a world where science is interpreted through a variety of lenses, including cultural values and political dispositions, and with strategies based on evidence in social science to improve public conversation about controversial topics in science.
The workshop focused on public perceptions and debates about genetically engineered plants and animals, commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), because the development and application of GMOs are heavily debated among some stakeholders, including scientists. For some applications of GMOs, the societal debate is so contentious that it can be difficult for members of the public, including policy-makers, to make decisions. Thus, although the workshop focused on issues related to public interfaces with the life science that apply to many science policy debates, the discussions are particularly relevant for anyone involved with the GMO debate. Public Engagement on Genetically Modified Organisms: When Science and Citizens Connect summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.