Rethinking the relationship between science and society: Has there been a shift in attitudes to Patient and Public Involvement and Public Engagement in Science in the United Kingdom?

Boaz, Annette, Biri, Despina and McKevitt, Christopher (2016) Rethinking the relationship between science and society: Has there been a shift in attitudes to Patient and Public Involvement and Public Engagement in Science in the United Kingdom? Health Expectations, 19(3), pp. 592-601. ISSN (print) 1369-6513

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The policy imperative to engage the public and patients in research can be seen as part of a wider shift in the research environment. This study addresses the question: Has there been a shift in attitudes to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) and Public Engagement in Science (PES) amongst researchers? METHODS: Attitudes to PPI and PES within a cluster of three NIHR supported Biomedical Research Centres were explored through in-depth interviews with 19 researchers. RESULTS: Participants distinguished PPI (as an activity involving patients and carers in research projects and programmes) from PES (as an activity that aims to communicate research findings to the public, engage the public with broader issues of science policy or promote a greater understanding of the role of science in society). While participants demonstrated a range of attitudes to these practices, they shared a resistance to sharing power and control of the research process with the public and patients. CONCLUSION: While researchers were prepared to engage with the public and patients and listed the advantages of engagement, the study revealed few differences in their underlying attitudes towards the role of society in science (and science in society) to those reported in previous studies. To the participants science remains the preserve of scientists, with patients and the public invited to 'tinker at the edges'.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Health services research
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education
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Depositing User: Automatic Import Agent
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2014 09:38
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 13:37
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/29399

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