Cover: Talking Policy

Talking Policy

An examination of public dialogue in science and technology policy

Published Mar 23, 2005

by Steven Wooding, Amanda Watt, Pernilla Lundin, Tom Ling

Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.9 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

This report makes recommendations for how public consultation can be fed into policy debates in science and technology. The UK based study draws from four case studies and a twenty-two respondent web survey. The case studies were the public dialogue activities run for the 2003 Energy White Paper; those around the use of sex selection organised by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; those surrounding the UK BioBank, a population biomedical sample collection; and three run by the Food Standards Agency. There were recommendations for policy centred around four themes. Firstly, preserving capacity, that of the public to engage in consultations and of contractors to provide the consultations needed. Secondly, clarity and planning, that there needed to be clarity in how the consultation could affect policy and all possible outcomes needed to be considered. Thirdly, synthesis of policy, that organisations should reflect on the transparency of their policy process when combining numerous streams of evidence. Finally, evaluation and learning, that there was little external evaluation of projects or explicit sharing of lessons learned.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the Council for Science and Technology and was conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.