How does the public make decisions about societal and ethical issues (SEI) in science? We’ve been researching past Nanotechnology Forums and the Would You Buy That? program to identify patterns in how the public responds to the facilitation approaches we have used in our SEI programming over the past six years. We will be highlighting results from this research over the next two months in our Featured Finding section.
One facilitation approach was voting, a commonly used technique in societal and ethical interactive experiences, which resulted in different responses depending on whether participants voted in groups or on their own. When voting was introduced into a group conversation, it instigated additional conversation. When individuals were asked to vote, it served as a closure activity, rather than the start of new discussion.