Title: Values and Uncertainties
Publisher: Springer
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC42713
ISBN: 978-1-4020-6698-6
URI: http://www.springer.com/environment/book/978-1-4020-6698-6?detailsPage=toc
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In traditional scientific research, even when oriented towards policy, it was assumed that values were irrelevant and uncertainties could be tamed by statistical methods. Now the public, many scientists, and some policy makers, appreciate that certainty and objectivity are not to be attained in the products of such research. Something will have to change in our understanding of science and also in its conduct. Such a complex problem calls for a variety of perspectives; transdisciplinary research and post-normal science (PNS) are a complementary pair. In the former, experience of the new sorts of tasks for science led to this new synthesis. In the latter, the approach was more philosophical, considering how radical the changes in our conceptions of science would need to be. In practice, the two approaches have much in common. Focusing on post-normal science, we show in this chapter that it has a characteristic methodology, concentrating on questions like ¿what-about?¿ and ¿what-if?¿. The issue of ¿safety¿, which perhaps defines the problematique of modern industrial civilisation, is an exemplar of the post-normal approach, since it cannot be managed by a linear, reductionist analysis.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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