2008. Chilvers. "Deliberating Competence: Theoretical and Practitioner Perspectives on Effective Participatory Appraisal Practice"


ARTICLE ABSTRACT: The "participatory turn" cutting across technical approaches for appraising environment, risk, science, and technology has been accompanied by intense debates over the desired nature, extent, and quality of public engagement in science. Burgeoning work evaluating the effectiveness of such processes and the social study of science in society more generally is notable, however, for lacking systematic understanding of the very actors shaping these new forms science-society interaction. This paper addresses this lacuna by drawing on United Kingdom based in-depth empirical research that made space for participatory appraisal experts to reflect on effective practice and novel questions of competence, expertise, and citizen-specialist relations within analytic-deliberative processes. Emerging practitioner principles warn that existing participatory models have not sufficiently considered constructivist perspectives on knowledge, analysis, and deliberation. Effective participatory appraisal under uncertainty needs to guard against the "technocracy of participation" by opening up to diversity, difference, antagonism, and uncertainties/indeterminacies.


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Contributed date

May 26, 2018 - 5:54pm

Critical Commentary

In this 2008 article, Jason Chilvers uses data from his empirical study with UK based participatory appraisal experts to analyze how these experts have gone about qualifying the efficacy of publicly-engaged scientific efforts to asses environemtal risks.



Cite as

Jason Chilvers, "2008. Chilvers. "Deliberating Competence: Theoretical and Practitioner Perspectives on Effective Participatory Appraisal Practice"", contributed by James Adams, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 7 June 2018, accessed 9 August 2022. http://www.stsinfrastructures.org/content/2008-chilvers-deliberating-competence-theoretical-and-practitioner-perspectives-effective