A Model for Communication about Biotechnology
This book incorporates two major themes into a model for communication about biotechnology. The first is that of a communicating community, defined as a relatively coherent social group engaging in communication within itself. As biotechnologists do not constitute a unitary group, this book refers to biotechnology communities. Similarly, the broad notion of 'the public' is considered to be inadequate, and the notion of distinct public communities is used. The members of each community are considered to have a view of biotechnology made up of their understandings of the nature of science of biotechnology, understandings of the key concepts and models used in biotechnology, perceptions of the nature of risk, and beliefs and attitudes about biotechnology. The second major theme is that of search space. This is the intersection, in a virtual arena, of the components of the 'views' of two communities. Where there are elements that are in common to the two, communication in terms of them is possible. Where there is no commonality, the degrees of understanding reached must be used to construct a mutual understanding that may evolve into an agreement.
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