How to Deal with Uninformed and Poorly Informed Opinions of Citizens? A Critical Approach to Online Public Engagement

Last updated on 5-3-2024 by Marie Malingreau

Public Access


Peer reviewed scientific article



Public engagement is increasingly recognized as a mutual learning of perspectives between lay and expert stakeholders. Still, the intention to educate citizens sometimes prevails over an open and honest exchange. Because of this overemphasis on education, researchers may more easily label lay opinions invalid if uninformed or based on distorted beliefs. Our experience with uninformed and poorly informed (UPI) opinions in an online public engagement initiative (the DNA Debate) has taught us to think differently. First, UPI opinions might be ethically instructive, provided that one searches f…

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