- Landscaping climate change: a mapping technique for understanding science and technology debates on the world wide web
- Public Understanding of Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
New World Wide Web (web) mapping techniques may inform and ultimately facilitate meaningful participation in current science and technology debates. The technique described here "landscapes" a debate by displaying key "webby" relationships between organizations. "Debate-scaping" plots two organizational positionings—the organizations' inter-hyperlinking as well as their discursive affinities. The underlying claim is that hyperlinking and discursive maps provide a semblance of given socio-epistemic networks on the web. The climate change debate on the web in November 1998 serves as a test case. Three findings are reported. First, distinctive .com, .gov and .org linking styles were found. Second, organizations take care in making hyperlinks, leading to the premise that the hyperlinks (and the "missing links") reveal which issue and debate framings organizations acknowledge, and find acceptable and unacceptable. Finally, it was learned that organizations take substantive positions and address other organizations' positions. Thus, we found the makings of a "debate" that may be mapped. Scenarios of use to support new public participation techniques and experiments are discussed by way of conclusion.
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