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Designing Controversies for the Public

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A conference on how to engage the publics of sociotechnical controversies in the effort of controversy mapping.
I have been invited to give this conference at the 2012 4S conference on Science and Technology Studies (Copenhague - 18/10/12), at the 'Tactics of Issue Mapping' seminar of Goldsmith University (London - 26/10/12), at the Department of Media Studies of the University of Amsterdam (17/04/13) and at the Ecsite Conference on science centres and museums (Gothenburg - 08/06/13).

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Designing Controversies for the Public

  1. 1. Designing Controversiesand their PublicsTommaso Venturini(médialab Sciences Po Paris)
  2. 2. Part I: Controversy Mappingand its ContradictionDesigning Controversiesand their publics
  3. 3. Controversy Mappingas a teaching methodIntroduced by Bruno Latour some 20 years agoto train students in the observation and description ofsociotechnical debatesand currently taught in Paris, Copenhagen, Milan,Manchester, Amsterdam, Liège, Padova, Trento, BuenosAires…
  4. 4. Controversy Mappingas a teaching method controverses.sciences-po.fr
  5. 5. Controversy Mappingas a research method4 collaborative projects:MACOSPOL (mapping controversies on science for politics) 2007-09www.mappingcontroversies.netMEDEA (mapping environmental debates on adaptation) 2011-14projetmedea.hypotheses.orgEMAPS (electronic maps to assist public science) 2011-14emapsproject.com/blogFORCCAST (formation à la c. c. pour l’analyse de sciences et des techniques) 2012-20forccast.hypotheses.org
  6. 6. Why controversies?a methodological reason
  7. 7. « It is controversies of this kind, the hardestcontroversies to disentangle, that the public iscalled in to judge. Where the facts are mostobscure, where precedents are lacking, wherenovelty and confusion pervade everything, thepublic in all its unfitness is compelled to makeits most important decisions » (p. 121).Why controversies?a political reason The Phantom PublicWalter Lippmann, 1925
  8. 8. Controversy Mappingas a participation method« The MACOSPOL consortium has been assembled to address thisquestion: how to explore the practical tools to represent in a new waysscientific and technical controversies so as to equip the potential publicand turn it into a real representative arena? »(MACOSPOL project document, p. 8)
  9. 9. The contradiction ofcontroversy mappingControversy Mappingas a teaching and research methodControversy Mappingas a participationmethodObserve controversiesin all their richnessProvide the public withreadable descriptions
  10. 10. A challenge to design« Now here is the challenge: In its long history, design practice has done amarvelous job of inventing the practical skills for drawing objects… But whathas always been missing from those marvelous drawings (designs in the literalsense) are an impression of the controversies and the many contradicting stakeholders that are born within with these …So here is the question I wish to raise to designers: where are the visualizationtools that allow the contradictory and controversial nature of matters of concernto be represented? »A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of DesignBruno Latour, Keynote lecture for the Design History SocietyFalmouth, Cornwall, 3rd September 2008
  11. 11. Designing Controversiesand their publicsPart II: Asking the Right Question
  12. 12. The contradiction ofcontroversy mappingObserve controversiesin all their richnessProvide the public witha readable description
  13. 13. The contradiction ofcontroversy mappingObserve controversiesin all their richnessProvide the public witha readable descriptiontoo rich too poor
  14. 14. Where do we stand? .legible but rich?rich but legible?www.boxplotstudios.com/2012debate_1www.pitchinteractive.com/election2008/jobarcs.html
  15. 15. The complexity-simplicity slider
  16. 16. Searching the pointof balance
  17. 17. Where does scientificreference stand?The Pedofil of Boa VistaBruno Latour (1995)Common Knowledge 4(1)
  18. 18. Are we asking the wrongquestion?The Pedofil of Boa VistaBruno Latour (1995)Common Knowledge 4(1)
  19. 19. From where we standto how we move« Our philosophical tradition has been mistaken in wanting to makephenomena the meeting point between things-in-themselves andcategories of the human understandings…Phenomena, however, are not found at the meeting point betweenthings and the forms of the human mind; phenomena are whatcirculates all along the reversible chain of transformations. »The Pedofil of Boa VistaBruno Latour (1995)Common Knowledge 4(1)
  20. 20. Part III: Three movementsDesigning Controversiesand their publics
  21. 21. Three movements• The extension of complexity/legibility trade off• Controversy atlases• WHAT: from statements to debates (the tree of disagreement)• WHO: from debates to actors (the actors-arguments table)• HOW: from actors to networks (the actor-network diagram)• WHERE: from networks to cosmoses (the scale of dispute)• WHEN: from cosmoses to cosmopolitics (the controversy dynamics)• Use-before-use (participatory design)• Design after design (digital interactivity)• The narration-exploration circle• Narrating the controversy fil-rouge• Exploring the complexity of debate• Datascapes navigation• The spiral of public engagement• Engaging the public throughout the mapping campaign• Engaging the public again, and again, and again
  22. 22. Movement 1:The extension of complexity/legibility trade off
  23. 23. WHAT? from statements to debatesFrom statements to debates (what)From debates to actors (who)From actors to networks (how)From networks to cosmoses (where)From cosmoses to cosmopolitics(when)
  24. 24. Movement 1, section 1:Controversy atlasWHAT: from statements to debates (the tree of disagreement)WHO: from debates to actors (the actors-arguments table)HOW: from actors to networks (the actor-network diagram)WHERE: from networks to cosmoses (the scale of dispute)WHEN: from cosmoses to cosmopolitics (the controversy dynamics)
  25. 25. Tree of disagreementhttp://medialab.sciences-po.fr/controversies/2010/Copenhague1/flash/fertilisation_ocean.s
  26. 26. Tree of disagreementhttp://jiminy.sciences-po.fr/labs/guidedtour/contents/tree.mp4
  27. 27. WHO? from debates to actors (who)From statements to debates (what)From debates to actors (who)From actors to networks (how)From networks to cosmoses (where)From cosmoses to cosmopolitics(when)
  28. 28. The actor-argument tablehttp://medialab.sciences-po.fr/controversies/2007/marees_vertes/schemassi.swf
  29. 29. HOW: From actors to networksFrom statements to debates (what)From debates to actors (who)From actors to networks (how)From networks to cosmoses (where)From cosmoses to cosmopolitics(when)
  30. 30. Actor-network diagramhttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/statistiquesethniques/reseau_acteurs.php
  31. 31. Actor-network diagram(scientometrics)
  32. 32. Actor-network diagram(web cartography)http://www.medialab.sciences-po.fr/controversies/2010/Hadopi2/index.php?
  33. 33. Actor-network diagram(text analysis)http://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/neutrinos/
  34. 34. WHERE? from networks to cosmosesFrom statements to debates (what)From debates to actors (who)From actors to networks (how)From networks to cosmoses (where)From cosmoses to cosmopolitics(when)
  35. 35. Debate scale / table of cosmoshttp://medialab.sciences-
  36. 36. WHEN? from cosmoses to cosmopoliticsFrom statements to debates (what)From debates to actors (who)From actors to networks (how)From networks to cosmoses (where)From cosmoses to cosmopolitics(when)
  37. 37. Debate dynamicshttp://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/gardasil/
  38. 38. http://controverses.sciences-po.fr/archive/mediator/chrono.htmlDebate dynamics
  39. 39. Movement 1, section 2:Use before use (participatory design)
  40. 40. Movement 1, section 3:Design after designSwiss Knife Pattada Sarda
  41. 41. Movement 1, section 3:Design after design (digital interactivity)http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/02/us/politics/paths-to-the-white-
  42. 42. Movement 2: the exploration narration circle• The extension of complexity/legibility trade off• Controversy atlases• WHAT: from statements to debates (the tree of disagreement)• WHO: from debates to actors (the actors-arguments table)• HOW: from actors to networks (the actor-network diagram)• WHERE: from networks to cosmoses (the scale of dispute)• WHEN: from cosmoses to cosmopolitics (the controversy dynamics)• Use-before-use (participatory design)• Design after design (digital interactivity)• The narration-exploration circle• Narrating the controversy fil-rouge• Exploring the complexity of debate• Datascape navigation• The spiral of public engagement• Engaging the public throughout the mapping campaign• Engaging the public again, and again, and again
  43. 43. Movement 2, section 1:Narrating the ‘fil rouge’
  44. 44. How did Theseusescaped the labyrith?http://daazo.com/film/3bcb3110-8852-11e0-ba3e-0050fc84de33
  45. 45. Find the way in your controversyand show it
  46. 46. What is the difference between a goodand bad receptionist?
  47. 47. Movement 2, section 1:Narrating the ‘fil rouge’
  48. 48. http://www.medialab.sciences-po.fr/controversies/2011/scube/decroissance/Movement 2, section 1:Narrating the ‘fil rouge’
  49. 49. Movement 2, section 2:Exploring the complexity of the debate“An essential property of this chain is that it must remain reversible. The successionof stages must be traceable, allowing to travel in both directions” (Latour, 1995)The Pedofil of Boa Vista, Bruno Latour (1995), Common Knowledge 4(1)
  50. 50. Movement 2, section 1:Narrating the ‘fil rouge’
  51. 51. Releasing the data thedata.org
  52. 52. Releasing the data http://www.nature.com/scientificdata/
  53. 53. Releasing the codegithub.com/medialab
  54. 54. Movement 2, section 3:datascapes navigation
  55. 55. http://issuu.com/densitydesign/docs/theres_no_place_like_antarctica http://vimeo.com/37723263Movement 2, section 3:datascape navigation
  56. 56. Movement 3: the spiral of public engagement• The extension of complexity/legibility trade off• Controversy atlases• WHAT: from statements to debates (the tree of disagreement)• WHO: from debates to actors (the actors-arguments table)• HOW: from actors to networks (the actor-network diagram)• WHERE: from networks to cosmoses (the scale of dispute)• WHEN: from cosmoses to cosmopolitics (the controversy dynamics)• Use-before-use (participatory design)• Design after design (digital interactivity)• The narration-exploration circle• Narrating the controversy fil-rouge• Exploring the complexity of debate• Datascape navigation• The spiral of public engagement• Engaging the public throughout the mapping campaign• Engaging the public again, and again, and again
  57. 57. GANTT 2011/2014
  58. 58. Expected protocolThe interaction spiral
  59. 59. Movement 3, section 1:Engaging the public throughout the campaign
  60. 60. Movement 3, section 2:Engaging the public again, again and again
  61. 61. tommaso.venturini@sciences-po.frVenturini, T. (2010)Diving in Magma: how to explore controversies with actor-network theoryPublic Understanding of Science, 19(3), pp. 258-273Venturini, T. (2012)Building on Faults: how to represent controversies with digital methodsPublic Understanding of Science, 21(7), pp. 796-812

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