We say: '...', they say: '...': How plant science experts draw on reported dialogue to shelve user concerns

Karen Mogendorff*, Hedwig te Molder, Cees van Woerkum, Bart Gremmen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study aims to increase insight into the uses of experts' references to physically absent technology users in government-funded plant science. A discursive psychological analysis of expert board meetings shows that experts invoke various forms of reported dialogue/thoughts and dispositional statements when problems with technology and with program funding are discussed. Forms of reported dialogue serve to demonstrate that experts engage in dialogue with users, understand and are reasonable about users' concerns, and that the content of user concerns does not agree with expert views. Dispositional statements allow users' feelings rather than users' knowledge to be acknowledged as relevant. By establishing that user concerns contrast with expert concerns in type and content and by not discussing how users' feelings may be incorporated into technology, experts shelve user concerns. This practice may hinder the development of user-friendly technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-154
Number of pages18
JournalDiscourse and Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Discursive psychology
  • experts' talk
  • hypothetical speech
  • plant science
  • reported speech
  • user-references


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