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Part 1: Towards the 21st Century
Chapter 3: The Relationship Between Science and Technology and Society in the 21st Century
Section 4: Science and Technology for the People
1. Participation in Science and Technology by general public

(1) Active Participation by general public

In the future, general public will be expected to actively work to fostering their knowledge about science and technology, actively gather information, express their opinions and communicate information, and participate in the planning, formulation and determination of science and technology policy, thereby promoting the sound development of science and technology activities corresponding to the social needs.

Some other countries equip with mechanisms for participation of the general public, such as the Netherlands' "Constructive Technology Assessments" and Denmark's "Consensus Councils."

(2) Public Participation Projects

Currently the "Millennium Project," a government initiative, invites public in revolutionary technological development projects and calls for suitable opinions to open up the new millennium, as public participation projects.

It is important that public participation policies extend further in science and technology in the future, with the initiatives like the "Millennium Project" as a good example.

(3) Utilization of NPOs

When general public is systematically provided opportunities to acquire real knowledge from researchers, they will be able to absorb knowledge concerning science and technology, and will learn how to make decisions appropriately through a variety of activities, and by publicizing the opinions gathered in these venues. Thus it is possible to play a certain role in the decision-making of government.

It is expected that the gathering of public opinions about science and technology will be furthered by having NPOs (nonprofit organizations) and NGOs (non-governmental organizations), which are involved in activities relating to science and technology, revitalize their activities and carry out science and technology activities that are closely related to the lives of the public.

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