Identifying the science and technology dimensions of emerging public policy issues through horizon scanning

Miles Parker, Andrew Acland, Harry J. Armstrong, Jim R. Bellingham, Jessica Bland, Helen C. Bodmer, Simon Burall, Sarah Castell, Jason Chilvers, David D. Cleevely, David Cope, Lucia Costanzo, James A. Dolan, Robert Doubleday, Wai Yi Feng, H. Charles J. Godfray, David A. Good, Jonathan Grant, Nick Green, Arnoud J. GroenTim T. Guilliams, Sunjai Gupta, Amanda C. Hall, Adam Heathfield, Ulrike Hotopp, Gary Kass, Tim Leeder, Fiona A. Lickorish, Leila M. Lueshi, Chris Magee, Tiago Mata, Tony McBride, Natasha McCarthy, Alan Mercer, Ross Neilson, Jackie Ouchikh, Edward J. Oughton, David Oxenham, Helen Pallett, James Palmer, Jeff Patmore, Judith Petts, Jan Pinkerton, Richard Ploszek, Alan Pratt, Sophie A. Rocks, Neil Stansfield, Elizabeth Surkovic, Christopher P. Tyler, Andrew R. Watkinson, Jonny Wentworth, Rebecca Willis, Patrick K.A. Wollner, Kim Worts, William J. Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Public policy requires public support, which in turn implies a need to enable the public not just to understand policy but also to be engaged in its development. Where complex science and technology issues are involved in policy making, this takes time, so it is important to identify emerging issues of this type and prepare engagement plans. In our horizon scanning exercise, we used a modified Delphi technique [1]. A wide group of people with interests in the science and policy interface (drawn from policy makers, policy adviser, practitioners, the private sector and academics) elicited a long list of emergent policy issues in which science and technology would feature strongly and which would also necessitate public engagement as policies are developed. This was then refined to a short list of top priorities for policy makers. Thirty issues were identified within broad areas of business and technology; energy and environment; government, politics and education; health, healthcare, population and aging; information, communication, infrastructure and transport; and public safety and national security.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere96480
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2014

Structured keywords

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