How can we engage with futures that are by definition uncertain and unknowable? How can we democratise the making of anticipative knowledge? How can we use such knowledge to contest, if necessary, the futures that are inscribed in techno-visionary science? Adopting a science and technology studies perspective, a public engagement methodology is presented aimed at anticipating the kinds of possible and plausible worlds that novel science and technology bring into being. Drawing on empirical social science research projects using focus groups, design criteria are explicated on context, framing, moderation, sampling, analysis and interpretation. A feature of the methodology lies in the assembly of emergent collectives and identities that are constituted to negotiate endogenously public meanings, concerns and priorities. I reflect on the potential of such processes to reconfigure dominant policy narratives, the role of the social scientist in mediating such processes and the politics of making anticipatory knowledge.
This event is part of the 5th STS-Forum at RWTH Aachen University.