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Constructive Conversations at the Centre for Sustainability

Constructive Conversations: Biotechnologies dialogue and informed decision-making

Principal investigator: Professor Hugh Campbell

Staff involved

  • Hugh Campbell
  • Ang Mackenzie
  • Janet Grice

Brief abstract

The Constructive Conversations project was based at the University of Canterbury and involved an ambitious methodology to examine the way in which different groups, experts and stakeholders interact and influence and may also hold essential situated expertise that can be deployed (or ignored) during the development of new technologies.

Of specific interest is the case of agricultural biotechnologies in which new political agendas, techno-scientific imaginaries, and science governance processes under neoliberalism can all be seen as potential lenses for understanding the success and failure of new biotechnologies.

CSAFE became a subcontractor to the Constructive Conversations project at the mid-point of the project’s life in order to facilitate case studies of primary industry sectors that may (or may not) utilize new technologies like biotechnologies or nutrigenomics. Key case studies in the project involved the Dairy, Specialist Seed and Aquaculture sector. CSAFE staff conducted the entire aquaculture sector study and contributed to the other two cases.