a hybrid of survey and focus groups as participatory exercise
What was from the outset meant to be a survey testing predefined categories of ethical positions related to new biotechnologies with animal cloning as an example was subsequently developed into a process of broader involvement of groups of citizens in the issue. The survey was conducted at meetings in four different cities in Denmark. The participants were introduced to animal cloning and after that they filled out the questionnaire. Finally, the issue was discussed in focus groups. The process as a whole was run in a dialogue oriented way. Through the information they received in combination with reflecting on the survey questions the participants were well prepared for discussions in the focus groups. This approach made it possible, on the one hand to get a measure of the citizen's perceptions of the ethical aspects of animal cloning, but also to go deeper into their own thoughts of the issue and the background for their answers. They also had the opportunity to discuss, to what extent their perceptions resembled the predefined framework of criteria for development and application of gene technologies that had been used as a basis for the survey. The survey results as well as the focus group discussions revealed many of the contradictions and conflicts between various ethical dimensions that built-in to the framework of ethical categories that had been used. However, the focus group discussions in particular also showed that many of the citizens had reflected upon many basic questions that went beyond the scope of this framework and its implementation in the survey.
Pariticipation; animal cloning; survey; focus groups
Main Research Area:
Participatory Approaches in Science and technology Conference, 2006