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Schneider, Michael; Gill, Bernhard (2016): Biotechnology versus agroecology: Entrenchments and surprise at a 2030 forecast scenario workshop. In: Science and Public Policy, Vol. 43, No. 1: pp. 74-84
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Abstract

A scenario workshop methodology was used to obtain various assessments of the prospects of multi-stress resistant plants. As biotechnological breakthroughs they are supposed to counter climate change and food shortages. In Europe, however, green biotechnology is highly controversial and positions have become rather entrenched. In our results, the scenario method showed itself to be highly suited to easing the grip of cognitive entrenchments and hierarchical communication structures. At least within the arena of the workshop, technologies as well as participants are on equal footing and can be grouped into various arrangements. This exposes participants to novel perspectives and engages them in deliberations on alternative science policy options, thus taking existing problems and needs into account rather than adapting society to the solutions and requirements of the envisioned technologies.