The Citizen Conference on Nanotechnologies (Conférence citoyenne sur les nanotechnologies) was established by the regional council of Île de France. 16 participants, across 4 weekends, deliberated and wrote a final report about nanotechnologies.
Problems and Purpose
Background History and Context
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The regional council of the region Île de France set up the mini-public to deliberate on nanotechnologies.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
16 citizen participants were randomly selected. Invited speakers (mostly scientists) were selected by the steering committee and the IFOP (the polling institute in charge of the recruitment of panel members and the facilitation).
Methods and Tools Used
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The 16 participants attended three training and working sessions (October, November and December 2006). After another working session, a public conference was held, in which participants questioned experts of their own choosing (January 19, 2007). Participants then convened in a one-day session during which they wrote their final report.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
A final report with policy recommendations was made public upon the last meeting. Citizens were overall supportive of nanotechnology research but asked for more public research on health hazards associated with nanotechnology. They advocated for the creation of an independent body made of scientists, politicians, philosophers, and NGO members, to oversee laboratory research and the activities of private companies. The policy impact is uncertain at best, since most of policy recommendations fell outside the competencies of the regional council (e.g., the participants recommended labelling nanoproducts, but this could not be implemented at the regional level).
Analysis and Lessons Learned
This entry is based on the POLITICIZE dataset. More information can be found at the following links:
- Paulis, Emilien; Pilet, Jean-Benoit; Panel, Sophie; Vittori, Davide; Close, Caroline, 2020, "POLITICIZE Dataset", https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/Z7X6GT, Harvard Dataverse, V1
- Pilet J-B, Paulis E, Panel S., Vitori D & Close C. 202X. The POLITICIZE Dataset: An Inventory of Deliberative Mini-Publics (DMPs) in Europe. European Political Science.