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OLIVEIRA, Liliana Tavares de  e  CARVALHO, Anabela. Public Engagement with Science and Technology: contributions for the concept's definition and the analysis of its implementation in the Portuguese context. OBS* [online]. 2015, vol.9, n.3, pp.155-178. ISSN 1646-5954.

Promoting a more transparent, clearer and more effective communication between citizens, scientists and policy-makers has been a priority goal of the European Commission and other institutions in recent years. Science communication matters for the extent to which citizens may be more or less available to participate and to get involved in the debate and in the regulatory process related to scientific-technological developments thus helping guarantee the quality of scientific results and the democratization of decisions. In the last two decades, the concept of Public Engagement with Science and Technology (PEST) has become central to analyses of the relation between citizens and technoscience. However, its meaning is not always clear as there are ambiguities and divergences between different sources. This article aims to map the views of different scholars, and to contribute to a clearer understanding of the concept of PEST and its implications. Further to discussing different understandings of PEST's objectives, the article evaluates the way in which the concept has been used in Portugal through an analysis of legal texts and of the mission and goals of research and higher education institutions. We conclude that instrumental arguments still prevail in the normative discourses that frame the Portuguese scientific activity.

Palavras-chave : Science communication; engagement; public participation; Portugal.

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