New Tools for Science Policy

Operationalizing Public Participation in Federal Science & Tech Policy

A "Whole of Society" approach

Calls abound to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and access in federal policy and decision-making. Join the ECAST Network on to learn about using participatory technology assessment (pTA), stakeholder and public engagement method, to operationalize democratic governance of science and technology.

About the Seminar

December 15, 2021 3:00pm—5:30pm

In January 2021, the Biden administration issued Executive Order 13985 mandating that “the Federal Government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” In May 2021, House Science Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson called upon the scientific establishment to “engage nontraditional stakeholders and diverse voices in NSF research, including civic organizations, labor, local and tribal governments, farmers, and even the public at large.”

The need to operationalize democratic governance of science and technology research and development is clear, yet few methods exist to do so. In 2010, a group of researchers, educators, and policy practitioners led by Arizona State University, the Museum of Science Boston, SciStarter, the Loka Institute, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars established the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) network to address this gap. Over the course of a decade, ECAST has developed an innovative and reflexive participatory technology assessment (pTA) method to support informed, inclusive, and democratic science policy decision-making. The network has conducted public deliberations across the United States. ECAST’s portfolio of topics and sponsors include planetary defense (NASA), community resilience (NOAA), nuclear waste (DOE), gene drives (DARPA), driverless cars (Kettering Foundation and Charles Koch Foundation), geoengineering (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) and human gene editing (NIH).

Join the ECAST network partners on December 15th from 3-5:30 PM ET to learn about pTA methods and applications, participate in a forum simulation and learn about the opportunities, challenges, and successes of this stakeholder and public engagement method.

This event is invitation only. Please email Mahmud Farooque if you would like to attend. 


3:00 pm Welcome and ECAST Introduction: A Reflexive Method for Advancing the Public Role in Science (Livestream)

  • Nicholas Weller, ASU, Moderator
  • Darlene Cavalier, ASU & SciStarter
  • Mahmud Farooque, ASU & Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes
  • David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science, Boston

3:15 pm Cooling a Warming Planet: A deliberation forum on Climate Intervention Research

  • Forum Introduction, Emily Hostetler
  • Solar Geoengineering Research Introduction, Video
  • Deliberation: What Could be Researched? How can SRM Research be Implemented? What should be prioritized?
  • Resolution: Developing a plan for geoengineering research
  • Report out and wrap up, Emily Hostetler

4:20 pm Break and Refreshments

4:30 pm pTA Results and Outcomes: Research, decision support, knowledge co-production, rulemaking and policy (Livestream)

  • David Tomblin, University of Maryland
  • Jen Schneider, Boise State University

4:45 pm ECAST-Sponsors Roundtable: Opportunities and challenges for pTA in research, education and policy (Livestream)

  • Darlene Cavalier, ASU, Moderator
  • Amy Kaminski, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (virtual)
  • Carrie McDougall, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Evan Michelson, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (virtual)
  • Mahmud Farooque, ASU & Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes
  • David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science

5:30 pm Adjourn

pTA workshop report

Location Information

1800 I St NW
8th Floor
Washington, DC 20006