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Consensus Conferences as Deliberative Democracy: A Communications Perspective

Consensus conferences involve a small group of citizens who go through a learning process on a given technological issue, engage experts, and develop an assessment of the key issues they identify as critical. These models of technology assessment, intended to make the process more democratic, have increasingly been used in Europe.

This study by authors Edna Eisendel and Deborah Eastlick examines the first application of consensus conferences in Canada on the issue of food biotechnology. It examines the consensus conference as a model of public deliberation with specific attention to communication processes. Science Communication, 21 (4), 323-343 (2000). Download from http://scx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/21/4/323.

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