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Public Participation Organizations and Open Policy: A Constitutional Moment for British Democracy?

This article builds on work in Science and Technology Studies and cognate disciplines concerning the institutionalization of public engagement and participation practices. It describes and analyses ethnographic qualitative research into one “organization of participation,” the UK government–funded Sciencewise program. Sciencewise’s interactions with broader political developments are explored, including the emergence of “open policy” as a key policy object in the UK context. The article considers what the new imaginary of openness means for institutionalized forms of public participation in science policymaking, asking whether this is illustrative of a “constitutional moment” in relations between society and science policymaking.