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Kaiping Chen – How deliberative designs empower citizens’ voices: A case study on Ghana’s Deliberative Poll on agriculture and the environment | GES Colloquium (Zoom)

February 16, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Virtual Event

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How deliberative designs empower citizens’ voices: A case study on Ghana’s Deliberative Poll on agriculture and the environment

Speaker: Kaiping Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor in Computational Communication at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Website | Twitter @Kaiping_Chen

Public deliberation designs for engaging and empowering the views of diverse publics in addressing complex policy issues


Empowering ordinary citizens with the capacity to deliberate is a core issue in science communication. Despite growing deliberative practices in developed nations, it is significantly less understood how public deliberation can happen among populations who live with limited educational resources and poor urban infrastructure in developing countries. This article studied a case of a well-designed deliberation method, Deliberative Poll, in Tamale, Ghana. I analyzed the stimulus information video and thousands of speech acts from deliberation transcripts to examine how expertise was used and what was deliberated in public dialogue. A broad range of expertise and interests were represented. Participants had thoughtful discussions on complex policy issues and their discussion results were considered by local policymakers. This article contributes to our understanding of how to effectively foster public deliberation among populations in the Global South and measure the nuances of expertise and public reasoning on science.


Speaker Bio

Dr. Kaiping Chen (@Kaiping_Chen) is an assistant professor in computational communication in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an affiliate of the UW-Madison Robert & Jean Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and the Center for East Asian Studies. Chen’s research employs data science to examine how digital media and technologies affect political accountability to public well-being and how deliberative designs can improve public discourse on controversial and emerging technologies. Chen’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Her works have been published in peer-reviewed journals across disciplines including American Political Science Review, Public Understanding of Science, Journal of Science Communication, International Public Management Journal, Politics, Frontiers In Sustainable Cities, and The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, among others.


February 16, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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