Key-Narratives of Microalgae Nutrition: Exploring futures through a public Delphi survey in Germany

Maximilian Rossmann*, Christine Roesch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper analyses public visions of microalgae as a food source to explain present innovation paths of a yet unproven scientific technology. The paper highlights the multi-perspectivity of contested futures, focusing on the role of generalized narratives as boundary objects. Using disaggregative policy Delphi, we reveal the key-narratives of microalgae nutrition with regard to expectability, desirability, and popularity. The study involved a two-round online survey with 229 participants, who were asked open and closed questions. We then clustered the answers and gave feedback in form of generalized narratives. Participants want microalgae to sustainably feed the world, while they also expect microalgae to be more likely a health product or an inconspicuous food substitute. Our findings show that Delphi methods are not only suitable to look into the future, but also for empirical research into perspectives on the future that help distinguish and hone the cognitive interest of politicians and researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • technology assessment
  • microalgae
  • narrative
  • policy Delphi
  • food
  • expectations
  • TOOL


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