The Danish Board of Technology (DBT) is an internationally renowned centre for engaging society with science and technology. This week, this pioneering organisation is threatened with closure by the Danish parliament.
Founded in 1986 it boasts 25 years of experience and knowledge on engaging the public in technological policy making. It has great expertise in participatory techniques such as consensus conferences and citizen hearings. Many controversial areas such as climate change, GM foods and bioengineering have been tackled through its work. The DBT was at the very forefront of the movement to make science more democratic and continues to be a highly respected and established leader in this field today.
The news of its potential and sudden closure has therefore been greeted with shock and horror across the world. The parliament wants to redirect more of its money towards research and to do this must channel money from other sources. One of these sources is the DBT. With a relatively small annual budget of 10 million DKK (just over 1.3 million Euro), closing the DBT seems like a heavy price to pay for a small amount of money, both for Denmark and the rest of the world.
The decision is not yet final, and is likely to be reviewed at the end of the week. Please show your support for the DBT and let the Danish parliament know how highly the DBT is regarded, valued and respected in international circles. European directors of parliamentary technology assessment offices have already written a letter opposing the closure. Support can be shown at their Facebook page or through the links contained within. Let’s hope enough people make their voice heard before it’s too late.