Over the past few decades, a growing debate regarding the role of the public in contributing to the decision-making process in science and technology policies has emerged and has been widely discussed, particularly within the context of health and environmental risk management. Through time, the notion of public has evolved. In fact, while the concept of public was initially conceived of as a single undifferentiated entity, the common understanding is now that a variety of differentiated, multifaceted, and multiple public(s) can be constructed for different purposes. This is equally true in xenotransplantation (XT), where the literature has showed how many kind of publics can be introduced as relevant. Several categories of individuals may be interesting and interested publics in XT: patients, relatives, students, hospital personnel and, not least, the general public or citizens. This report explores the notion of public and the contemporary participatory procedures as participatory rights for citizens in decision concerning techno-science and society. Its perspective, therefore, is normative, namely it aims at understanding how the political role of citizens is changing in democratic societies when matter of innovation are concerned. The report focused on xenotransplantation (XT) whose connections with public discourse and practices is quite paradigmatic amongst new technologies, and quite unique amongst biomedical technologies, due to its peculiar risks.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • participatory rights
  • public involvement
  • science and democracy
  • xenotransplant


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