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Title: Industrial constructions of publics and public knowledge: a qualitative investigation of practice in the UK chemicals industry
Authors: Burningham, K
Barnett, J
Carr, A
Clift, R
Wehrmeyer, W
Keywords: Publics;Public knowledge;Public engagement;Industry
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Citation: Public Understanding of Science 16(1): 23-43, Jan 2007
Abstract: While the rhetoric of public engagement is increasingly commonplace within industry, there has been little research that examines how lay knowledge is conceptualized and whether it is really used within companies. Using the chemicals sector as an example, this paper explores how companies conceive of publics and "public knowledge," and how this relates to modes of engagement/communication with them. Drawing on qualitative empirical research in four companies, we demonstrate that the public for industry are primarily conceived as "consumers" and "neighbours," having concerns that should be allayed rather than as groups with knowledge meriting engagement. We conclude by highlighting the dissonance between current advocacy of engagement and the discourses and practices prevalent within industry, and highlight the need for more realistic strategies for industry/public engagement.
Description: This is a post print version of the article. The official published version can be obtained from the link below - © 2007 by SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0963-6625
Appears in Collections:Publications
Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Research Papers

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