Although essential to the dialogue process, experts are widely neglected. Most focus to date has been on public involvement, according to a recent UK report.
The Use of Experts in Public Dialogue by Suzannah Lansdell, is a comprehensive guide to recruiting and rewarding experts, and getting the best out of their input.
Today, there is a clear lack of incentives to participate in dialogue: “little reward for experts in terms of career progression or funding”.
The report discusses the importance of integrating dialogue into funding assessments and university management structures. There are proposals for raising the profile of dialogue within the expert community, such as providing a specific budget to feedback through conferences, journals and academic papers.
The report also recommends trying to engage corporate scientists and experts, rather than just publicly funded ones.
The report was published by Science Wise ERC, a government funded UK body that works to help policy makers make use of public dialogue. The publication is one of a series of six, each taking an in depth look at an aspect of Public Dialogue. All reports are available at the Science-Wise ERC website.
1. Enabling and Sustaining Citizen Involvement
2. Widening Public involvement in Dialogue
3. Working with the Media
4. Evidence Counts – Understanding the value of Public Dialogue
5. Departmental Dialogue Index
6. The Use of Experts in Public Dialogue