Academics at Prescott College
Gretchen Gano, Ph.D.
Director of Core Curriculum / Faculty
Gretchen Gano is a Science and Technology Studies scholar and Faculty Director of the Core Curriculum at Prescott College. She studies how diverse publics intervene in complex environmental problems and in urban life to catalyze policy and social change. She analyzes the design of dialog processes that involve the public in policy debate about scientific and technical issues, known as participatory technology assessment. She has been involved in major multi-institutional research projects that engaged citizens in technology assessment of the development of synthetic biology; the politics of using algorithms and big data; US national space policy; nanotechnology and emerging technologies in cities; as well as in the formation of international climate, energy & biodiversity policy.
Gano is a Research Fellow and the former Associate Director of Research at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society at the University of California Berkeley. She has coordinated research and outreach in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS-ASU) and the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University. Gano is active in the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) Network. ECAST is a U.S. network of policy research institutions, universities, and science museums working together to foster the development of balanced, nonpartisan technology assessment and related public engagement activities. She received her Ph.D. in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology at Arizona State University and holds a double Masters in Science and Technology Policy and Library and Information Science from Rutgers University.
Research in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) is marked by reflexive methods that open up rather than fix a given way of knowing or behaving. When a student uses a research method as a guide to answer her own question, she improvises. This way of learning is analogous to a process called scoring used by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin (1970) to motivate community-engaged design. A particular method, like a piece of sheet music, provides a score for how to approach a new experience and to take advantage of that experience by looking at it critically.
"If the success or failure of this planet, and of all human beings, depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?"R. Buckminster Fuller
Ph.D. Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, Arizona State University
M.L.I.S. Library and Information Science, Rutgers University
M.P.P. Public Policy / Science and Technology Policy, Rutgers University
B.A. English, Warren Wilson College
My research examines the role for new forms of what political theorist Robert Dahl (1989) calls a mini-public: an assembly of citizens, demographically representative of the larger population, who convene to learn and deliberate on a topic in order to inform policy making. I transpose my research to teaching by building courses around community engaged projects so that students conduct original research themselves. In 2012 as Lecturer for the Science, Technology and Society Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, I was faculty mentor for the first summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Community Research Engagement program on campus. Students conducted participatory action research to analyze the global technology assessment, World Wide Views on Biodiversity. World Wide Views was a citizen dialog held on a single day in twenty-five countries that incorporated public views on global biodiversity governance in a citizen report to delegates at the United Nations Conference of Parties on Biological Diversity (Cop 11). I and an interdisciplinary team of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students recruited and selected one hundred demographically representative citizen participants in the state of Massachusetts, facilitated structured dialog, and conducted multi-modal research consisting of pre and post test surveys and focus group observations.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Tomblin, David, Zachary Pirtle, Mahmud Farooque, David Sittenfeld, Erin Mahoney, Rick Worthington, Gretchen Gano, Michele Gates, Ira Bennett, Jason Kessler, Amy Kaminski, Jason Lloyd & David Guston. 2017. “Integrating Public Deliberation into Engineering Systems: Participatory Technology Assessment of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission.” Astropolitics 15(2): 141–66.
Selin, Cynthia, Kelly Rawlings, Kathryn de Ridder-Vignone, Gretchen Gano, Jathan Sadowski, Carlo Altamirano, Sarah Davies, Mindy Kimball, and David Guston, “Experiments in Engagement: Designing PEST for Capacity-Building,” Public Understanding of Science, 1-16, http://doi.org/10.1177/0963662515620970
Starting with Universe: Buckminster Fuller's Design Science Now, Futures, 70, 3, 56-64
Davies, Sarah R., Cynthia Selin, Gretchen Gano, and Ângela Guimarães Pereira. 2013. “Finding Futures: A Spatio-Visual Experiment In Participatory Engagement,” Leonardo 46(1): 76–77
Davies, Sarah R., Cynthia Selin, Gretchen Gano, and Ângela Guimarães Pereira, “Citizen Engagement and Urban Change: Three Case Studies of Material Deliberation,” Cities 29(6): 351–57
Cobb, Michael, and Gretchen Gano, “Evaluating Structured Deliberations about Emerging Technologies: Post-Process Participant Evaluation,” International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society 10: 96–110
Gano, G. L., Crowley, J. E., & Guston, D, “"Shielding" the knowledge transfer process in human service research,” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, January 2007, 17(1):39-60; DOI 10.1093/jopart/muj013
Gano, Gretchen, and David Sittenfeld, “Amplifying Deliberative Results to Access Policy Networks: The Role of Informal Science Education Institutions,” In Governing Biodiversity through Democratic Deliberation, eds. Mikko Rask and Richard Worthington
Selin, Cynthia, and Gretchen Gano, “Seeing Differently: Enticing Reflexivity through Mediating Participation in Futurescape City Tours,” In Participatory Visual and Digital Research in Action, eds. Aline Gubrium, Krista Harper, and Marty Otañez.
Conference Proceedings / Reports
Pirtle, Zachary, Mahmud Farooque, Gretchen Gano, David Guston, Amy Kaminski, Jason Kessler, Erin Mahoney, David Sittenfeld, David Tomblin, and Richard Worthington, The Public Informing Upstream Engineering: A Participatory Technology Assessment of NASA’s Asteroid Initiative. In AIAA SPACE 2015 Conference and Exposition (p. 4651).
Tomblin, David, Richard Worthington, Gretchen Gano, Mahmud Farooque, David Sittenfeld, and Jason Lloyd. 2015, Report: Informing NASA’s Asteroid Initiative: A Citizen’s Forum, Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) under NASA Cooperative Agreement / Grant Number: NNX14AF95A
Worthington, Richard, Darlene Cavalier, Mahmud Farooque, Gretchen Gano, Henry Geddes, Steven Sander, David Sittenfeld, David Tomblin, Report: Technology Assessment and Public Participation: From TA to pTA, Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Science and Technology Innovation Program
Haller, Megan K., Eric Welch, Mary Feeney, and Gretchen Gano, Report: Positioning the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement as a Leader in the Use of Technology to Enhance Collaborative Governance, Science, Technology and Environment Policy Lab, Graduate Program in Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
Adding the Citizen Voice: Participatory Socio-Scientific Policymaking, AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting Serving Science Through Science Policy, Boston, MA, February 16-20
Issues in Scientific Authority in Regulation, Workshop: Advancing Science for Policy Through Interdisciplinary Research in Regulation (ASPIRR), Berkeley, CA, September 15
Where are they now? Center for Nanotechnology in Society Gala Event, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, May 4
Building Civic Engagement with Biological Engineering, Communicating Synthetic Biology, AAAS 2016 Annual Meeting Global Science Engagement, Washington, D.C., February 11-15
Collecting Data on Participant Views and Values, Multi-site Public Engagement with Science – Synthetic Biology Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, October 20
Real Time Technology Assessment 3: Anticipation and Deliberation, Center for Nanotechnology in Society National Science Foundation Site Visit, Tempe, Arizona, May 7-8
Building Science and Technology Studies Programs, Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, August 30-September 2
Critical Data Studies Track, Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting, Barcelona, Spain, August 31-September 3
Translating CRISPR research to societal uses, CRISPR Technology Symposium: Responsible Discourse about Science & Bioethics, UC North Bioethics Collaboratory, UC Davis, Davis, CA, May 26
CNS-ASU archival project, Center for Nanotechnology in Society Gala Event, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, May 4
STS and the City II: Engagements and Interventions in Techno-Politics, Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, November 11-14
Minority Report: The Fall and Rise of Critical Technology Studies, with Ben Brucato, Joint Meeting of Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ESOCITE), Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 20-23
Space: the “First”, not “Final”, Frontier for participatory Technology Assessment, Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 11-14
Mediation and Scenarios: Unpacking Power, Politics and Persuasion in Future-Oriented Inquiry, with Cynthia Selin, Ângela Guimarães Pereira, Sarah R Davies, First International Conference on Anticipation, University of Trento, Trento, Italy, November 5-7
A Novel Architecture for Anticipatory Risk Assessment of Emerging Biotechnologies: The Building with Biology Case, From Nanotechnologies to Emerging Technologies: Towards a Global Responsibility, Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies (S.Net), Montreal, Quebec, Canada, October 18-21
The Public Informing Upstream Engineering: A Participatory Technology Assessment of NASA’s Asteroid Initiative, with Z Pirtle, M Farooque, G Gano, D Guston, A Kaminski, J Kessler, AIAA SPACE 2015 Conference and Exposition, 4651, Pasadena, California, August 31-September 2
participatory Technology Assessment (pTA) as Technological Wayfinding, New Designs for Engagement: Theories and Practices of Material Deliberation Panel, Joint Meeting of Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ESOCITE), Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 20-23
The Megamachine: Lewis Mumford’s Vision of Technological Society and Implications for (participatory) Technology Assessment, Social construction of technology coming of age: new challenges and opportunities ahead, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, June 3-5
Confronting the Future Pseudomorph: Materiality and Embodiment in Scenario Planning and Design, Oxford Futures Forum, Scenarios and Design, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, England, May 30-31