Why public dialogue?
Public dialogue informs the formulation and implementation of government policy. It adds to the body of evidence presented to decision makers.
Public dialogue can help in the following ways:
Policy is more socially informed, making it more robust and credible with less chance of negative social impacts.
Policy is more publicly acceptable, because it is developed with an understanding of how and why the public is likely to react, where they will draw the line, where are the issues of conflict and consensus, and what the public suggest will and will not work in practice.
Policy is more cost effective in the long term, because the likelihood of future unforeseen conflict is reduced and final decisions are easier to implement as they are based on the best possible knowledge from a range of sources.
Sciencewise experience is that, when a policy area is discussed early with a group of citizens who have access to key scientists, pressure groups and other leaders in the field, the better and more robust that policy will be, and the more certain Government and Ministers can be that the policy will be successfully implemented.
More about public dialogue
For more details see What is public dialogue? Frequently Asked Questions
“If you cut across the grain of the public instinct, it’s disastrous. Engaging with people should help us devise policies which are acceptable and sustainable.”
Academy of Medical Sciences working group member (Case Study: Drugs futures dialogue)