Abstract

If a research project is to achieve its intended impacts, it must learn to become sensitive to the public context it implicitly assumes and enacts. This article presents a case study in which we used the perspectives provided by the ‘PROTEE’ methodology to create an opportunity to explore, and to reflect on, the reality in which research on genetically modified trees was expected to make a difference. Identifying potential barriers to persuasive communication brought out additional capacities and limitations of the research strategy. Paradoxically the very same strategic choices which had allowed the research project to claim its policy-relevance ended up undermining its public role. Since PROTEE can help making such contradictions explicit, we claim that it has much to offer to research management.

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