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The Fabric of the Public in Debates About Gene Editing

Abstract : This commentary scrutinizes and problematizes the different ways in which the public is imagined and positioned in debates about gene editing. Four (ideal)types of publics in current debates on gene editing are discussed: epistemic/economic accepters, legitimized participants in debates and decision-making, technology users, empirical research objects. This commentary also proposes, building upon pragmatist inspired analyses of the public, that we should further examine the fabric of the public. How and where does gene editing become a public issue and an issue for the public, and how and where is the public rendered invisible and irrelevant? This question can be empirically traced across various sites: academic publications, conferences, public reports, public debates, community laboratories, but also through regulation and consumption. While in some of these sites, the public might be imagined as a local or national entity, in others, the public might be imagined as a rather transnational and global entity. The question can also be contrasted across domains of application, such as health, agriculture, and the environment. The empirical question is not only to study the “weaving together” of the public, but also to situate – and compare and contrast – the fabric of the public across different sites and different locales.
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Contributor : Morgan Meyer Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, December 6, 2021 - 1:16:41 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:22:58 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, March 7, 2022 - 6:51:52 PM


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Morgan Meyer. The Fabric of the Public in Debates About Gene Editing. Environmental Communication, 2020, Special issue: Communicating gene editing: Agriculture, humans, and the environment. Guest editors: Dominique Brossard and Dietram A. Scheufele, 14 (7), pp.872-876. ⟨10.1080/17524032.2020.1811477⟩. ⟨hal-03020184⟩



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