MACOSPOL

Description

MACOSPOL (Mapping Controversies on Science for Politics) is a joint research enterprise that gathers scholars in science, technology and society across Europe. Its goal is to devise a collaborative platform to help students, professionals and citizens in mapping out scientific and technical controversies.

Context

Technical democracy requires spaces and instruments to facilitate public involvement in technological and scientific issues. Such democratic equipment is yet to be assembled, even though much theoretical research has been done to envision its articulation. At the same time, digital innovations are providing an increasing number of new instruments and forums that can be used to promote public participation. MACOSPOL has been set up to facilitate the connection between these two developments, allowing the best research in science, technology and society to ally with the best research on web-based tools. Financed under the 7th framework program of the European Union, the MACOSPOL project is now achieving its completion by the release and update of the MappingControversies.net platform.

Objectifs

To Survey and evaluate the world offer of tools for mapping scientific controversy and supporting participation in technological democracy;
To Builda portfolio of case-study analysis in controversy mapping at different level of elaboration (undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. level);
To Identify the drawbacks of each of the collected tools (expensive proprietary software, lack of compatibility, users’ unfriendly interfaces…) in order to envision their overcoming or to find alternatives;
To explore how design and geography can improve the visual performance (information management, readability, second degree manipulation, transportability…) of the representing equipment for technical democracy.
To test the political relevance of the platform as a “quasi parliament” capable of hosting and shaping the actual debates about science and technology.
– Project coordinator: Bruno Latour
– Call for Project: 7e programme cadre Européen
– Timeline: MACOSPOL is coming to its end with the release of the latest version of the site “mappingcontroversies.net”.