Genetically Engineered Algae Public Engagement Strategies

On October 27, 2016, a diverse group of stakeholder leaders assembled on the campus of Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, AZ for a facilitated discussion of how best to engage broader public audiences in the governance of genetically engineered (GE) algae. The workshop was organized and facilitated by the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) Network (, a network of researchers and practitioners dedicated to exploring hybrid strategies for engaging diverse audiences in science policy and technology assessment. The workshop was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with additional in-kind support provided by ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society ( and Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (; the Keystone Policy Center (; and North Carolina State University’s Genetic Engineering and Society Center ( The workshop followed an open public meeting convened by the EPA regarding revisions to their guidelines for GE algae under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

This report[1] describes the motivation and purpose of the workshop, summarizes the content of presentations and discussions, and offers suggestions for future strategies of public engagement on the topic of governing GE algae.

The workshop objectives, as communicated explicitly to the participants, included the following:

  1. Reflect upon past experiences and lessons learned regarding effective public engagement.
  2. Identify critical audiences, questions, and data/information needs for engagement on EPA’s Algae Guidance and other future governance on GE algae.
  3. Identify preferred engagement methods and desired approaches for integrating public input into decision making.
  4. Bring together stakeholders from industry, academia, civil society organizations, and federal agencies.

[1] Suggested citation: Delborne, J., Farooque, M., and Shapiro, J. (2017). “Genetically Engineered Algae Public Engagement Strategies: A Stakeholder Workshop Report.” Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) Network. public-engagement-strategies/

GE Algae Workshop Report 2017_10_16