Despite this trend of the social studies of science coming together and that in favour of greater public participation in the environmental sciences, the thesis points to the fact that, at times, the word participation has been made meaningless. The researcher says that participation is talked about, for example, when a plebiscite is undertaken but which is not legally binding. She underpins that the key is to develop methods that foment a genuine involvement of citizens, in such a way, for example, when there is an environmental problem in a local community, this community takes on the cause.
Uruguay and nuclear energy
The final chapter of the thesis is devoted to the example of the genuine public participation taking place in Uruguay, and in which the author of this PhD is involved. This is a public judgement jury style about the use of nuclear energy in the country. After carrying out a jury selection process, 15 persons make up the panel, and these listen to the arguments in favour and against the installation of a nuclear energy plant. At the same time, a political study is to undertaken on the degree of acceptation of the process. The intention is that, through media and political monitoring, public involvement in the process is not just limited to the 15 members of the jury.
As explained in the thesis, this exercise in public participation has a model to follow: Denmark. According to Ms Lzaro, the Scandinavian country has been involving the public in scientific and environmental issues for two decades n
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