Alice Bell has written a good piece today with her reflections on this week’s Science and Citizenship conference. Its worth a read and has certainly given me something to ponder over the Christmas holidays.
Alice finishes her piece by saying that the public engagement ‘industry’ – if I can call it that – needs to take a long hard look at itself and what it should be striving for next; not just beating its own drum.
I couldn’t agree more. The choice of the title for the conference is in itself somewhat ironic. At the heart of citizenship lies a very simple concept – that of ‘membership of a community’ and yet a lot of what we do in the name of public engagement can seem very far removed from treating the public as such.
That’s not to decry what has gone before us. But I sincerely hope that engagement which embraces real ‘citizenship’ is what we will be talking about in ten years time.