Title: Post-Normal Relationships between Science and Society: Implications for Public Engagement
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC48855
ISBN: 978-0-415-99595-5
URI: http://www.routledgesociology.com/books/Science-Society-and-Sustainability-isbn9780415995955
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The epistemological changes which characterise modern technoscience, as described in Chapter 1, along with the growing concentration of economic power and energy, have important implications for the involvement of the public in decision-making processes concerning socio-environmental issues. In this view, the epistemic framework of post-normal science challenges the model of Public Understanding of Science, and the thesis of the public¿s inability to act on scientific issues, supporting instead the launch of various efforts for democratizing science. Such an extension of participation calls for a reflection on the nature of the knowledge which is being produced and on what might be the criteria and processes for ensuring quality. Chapter 2 deals with these questions through an exploration of different models of participation and co-construction of knowledge, which refer to different perspectives on the relationships between science and society. In particular, if exclusive reliance on scientific knowledge validated by the academic community is no longer tenable, then quality in decision-making is linked to the extent to which multiple subjects can be involved and participate in a process of dialogue: an extended peer community which is able to balance previous power differences between science and society, and also to enable co-production of civic science. This chapter will offer a number of examples of contexts and places for engagement, with a final reflection on the changes in the ways of learning that are required by the ongoing transformation of the relationship between the public and the scientific community.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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