Co-shaping the Future in Quadruple Helix Innovation Systems
Uncovering Public Preferences toward Participatory Research and Innovation
The Quadruple Helix Model of innovation recognizes four major actors in the innovation system: science, policy, industry, and society. In keeping with this model, more and more governments are prioritizing greater public involvement in innovation processes. The goal of this study was to identify desirable and productive forms of interaction between the scientific community and the public. Our analysis focuses on the point of view of societal actors, which has so far been largely neglected in scientific literature and political discourse. To this end, we interviewed 50 laypersons with participatory research and innovation experience in Germany to document their opinions of the value of such interaction, the goals it should pursue, and the forms it should take. Rather than preferring the democratization of science in general, interviewees expressed the desire for more extensive opportunities to introduce scientific and technological considerations as part of bidirectional exchanges between academia and society. This paper proposes a layperson typology intended to help design participatory processes that facilitate such exchanges and includes the differences in opinions between men and women.