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Framing ‘fracking’ : exploring public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom.

Williams, Laurence and Macnaghten, Phil and Davies, Richard and Curtis, Sarah (2017) 'Framing ‘fracking’ : exploring public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom.', Public understanding of science., 26 (1). pp. 89-104.

Abstract

The prospect of fracking in the United Kingdom has been accompanied by significant public unease. We outline how the policy debate is being framed by UK institutional actors, finding evidence of a dominant discourse in which the policy approach is defined through a deficit model of public understanding of science and in which a technical approach to feasibility and safety is deemed as sufficient grounds for good policymaking. Deploying a deliberative focus group methodology with lay publics across different sites in the north of England, we find that these institutional framings are poorly aligned with participants’ responses. We find that unease regularly overflows the focus on safety and feasibility and cannot be satisfactorily explained by a lack of understanding on the part of participants. We find that scholarship from science and technology studies productively elucidates our participants’ largely sceptical positions, and orientates strategies for responding to them more effectively.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662515595159
Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:13 December 2017
Date of first online publication:13 July 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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