Science policy and public accountability in Poland: the case of embryonic stem-cell research

Kulawik, Teresa
July 2009
Science & Public Policy (SPP);Jul2009, Vol. 36 Issue 6, p468
Academic Journal
This article examines how exercises of public involvement in science policy, which have been transported to the new member states via EU regulations, function in post-socialist democracies. Given Poland's agonistic and non-transparent policy style, the public consultation process in the case of embryonic stem-cell research stands out as an exemplary model of ensuring public awareness and highquality communication. When taking a closer look at the applied accountability criteria, however, the overall assessment becomes more critical. Still, an important result of this case study is that deliberative exercises based on face-to-face forums facilitate communication and contribute to mutual understanding even within highly polarized and antagonistic constellations. The findings of the case study suggest that exercises of public involvement need more precise institutional rules to have an impact on advancing public accountability in consolidating democracies.


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