In recent years it has been possible to observe a transition in European approaches to risk governance, and, in particular, to scientific citizenship. Where policy responses to risk issues have traditionally been the domain of bureaucrats and scientists, experiments have been taking place which open up these processes to a wider range of participants, including members of the broader publics. This paper follows one such experiment in the United Kingdom - the inclusion of so-called 'lay' members on Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs). Our research investigates the emergence of non-expert roles on SACs and follows the sense-making activities of committees and committee members as they give shape to them. Moreover, we consider whether such experiments in engagement are contributing to new forms of social and institutional space, or whether they simply prop up dominant (and highly criticised) expert approaches. Our conclusions suggest that in order to realize the transformative capacity of engagement it is necessary to value 'lay membership', and other experiments in engagement, as a means of fostering contextual reflexivity and critical engagement with the cultures and practices of advice giving.
|Journal||Revue d'Anthropologie des Connaissances|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|