We are evaluating how different stakeholders view genome editing in agriculture. We are using network science to construct “mental models,” or graphical representations of knowledge networks, of genome editing for four stakeholder groups: the non-expert public, biologists, policymakers, and farmers. Network science examines the relations between components in a system. In general, a system is represented graphically by points or objects, which signify the components, and lines or arrows that denote the relations among components.
In this study, the components are the words or phrases that comprise an individual's’ mental image of genome engineering. We will collect data using multiple, overlapping approaches, including focus groups, in-depth interviews, surveys, and concept mapping workshops. These data will allow us to empirically construct representations of how each group conceptualizes genome editing in agriculture. This information will guide the scientific community’s engagement strategies by identifying potential points of overlap and disparity with each group.
If you are interested in contributing to our study, please fill out an informational form found here and we will contact you by summer 2018.