The duchess is due to deliver her third child later this month.
The use of a referendum in such high-profile ways, however, also suggests that governments must continue to examine and re-examine what it means to engage the public effectively--before a matter reaches the ballot. Are governments enabling those affected by decisions to affect those decisions, without ballots?
Provide timely information and practice transparency. From the beginning, the decisions that led to the current crisis have
For an increasing number of Americans, disappearing opportunity is a source of anxiety and frustration. They feel unable to find a foothold in the economy and, over time, better their lot in life.
In our private lives, we have quite a bit of say over how we spend our money. Granted, an employer or client ultimately decides whether and what amount to pay us, but if we want to spend more on a house than on vacations, or more on our children's education than on dining out, that's our decision.
Beyond the partisan divides around some of President Obama's policy proposals lies a compelling thought: regardless of the policy outcome, give ordinary people safer access to the process. That is an achievable goal--as demonstrated by the many governments who have made it so.
Academics just need to start writing, getting edited and seeing if the public reads them. Through this process, academics will not only learn to express themselves clearly, but most likely become better scientists as well.
Public engagement is an essential ingredient in building public trust and confidence, when it comes to decisions about the use of science and technology.
In this presidential election season, one thing is certain: candidates will rarely - if ever - be asked what they would do to keep this nation at the forefront of science and innovation. That's a shame.
The recent call by U.S. scientists for a temporary pause "in the application of germ-line modification for clinical application in humans while the implications of such activity are discussed" has added a new intensity to the debate and reveals a potential bioethical divide between the US and the UK.