In this study, the authors examine the performative functions of scientists' discursive constructions of the science-society relationship. They use discursive psychology to analyze interviews with Dutch plant scientists and show that interviewees contrast the freedom of people in the private sphere with scientists' responsibilities in the professional sphere to regulate "lay" access to science. To accomplish this, interviewees make claims about the scientific value of lay views only after they have displayed their tolerance of these views. Additionally, many interviewees refer to their own lay status in everyday life. Finally, the relationship between findings and recent science communication approaches is discussed.
- discursive psychology
- displays of tolerance
- linguistic anthropology
- plant genomics
- scientists' understanding of laypeople