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goldfish bowl

In the goldfish bowl: science and technology policy dialogues in a digital world

Public opinion is increasingly driven by information obtained through digital means and policy makers are shifting the bulk of engagement exercises and public opinion-gathering online.

Executive summary

Digital engagement, if used well, can:
•    Amplify the impact of offline engagement and create better starting conditions for offline events
•    Help to build a baseline of technical knowledge to inform discussion
•    Widen access and increase transparency

On the negative side, digital routes can quickly spread misinformation that distorts or oversimplifies information, thereby undermining related policy debate.

In the report below, we have developed a typology for digital engagement that illustrates how two key considerations, topic and method, can be used to group different digital communication tools, so that policy makers can match technique to need.

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