By Michel Callon, Pierre Lascoumes, Yannick Barthe
Controversies over such matters as nuclear waste, genetically transformed organisms, asbestos, tobacco, gene treatment, avian flu, and mobile phone towers come up nearly day-by-day as swift medical and technological advances create uncertainty and produce approximately unexpected issues. The authors of performing in an doubtful global argue that political associations has to be multiplied and superior to regulate those controversies, to remodel them into efficient conversations, and to result in "technical democracy." They exhibit how "hybrid forums"--in which specialists, non-experts, traditional voters, and politicians come together--reveal the bounds of conventional delegative democracies, during which judgements are made by means of quasi-professional politicians and techno-scientific info is the area of experts in laboratories. The department among pros and laypeople, the authors declare, is just outdated. The authors argue that laboratory study might be complemented by means of daily experimentation pursued within the actual global, they usually describe quite a few modes of cooperation among the 2. They discover a variety of concrete examples of hybrid boards that experience handled sociotechnical controversies together with nuclear waste disposal in France, business waste and start defects in Japan, a adolescence leukemia cluster in Woburn, Massachusetts, and mad cow disorder within the uk. The authors talk about the consequences for political determination making commonly and describe a "dialogic" democracy that enriches conventional consultant democracy. To invent new strategies for session and illustration, they recommend, is to give a contribution to an unending procedure that's beneficial for the continuing democratization of democracy.
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Extra resources for Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy (Inside Technology)
In such situations, controversy essentially focuses on two points. First, as in cases of suspicion, the reliability of the information and the data collected may be disputed. Do they merely reflect the anxieties of those involved in publicizing the problem, or are they the firm basis of a scientific evaluation of the dangers incurred? The confrontation may also, and especially, focus on the action to be taken. Do we know enough to make decisions? Should we undertake further investigation in order to stick with indisputable proofs?
What new lines of research will be explored? These questions are continuously formulated and reformulated as the socio-technical controversy develops. They are both the consequence and the motor of its dynamic. To understand this point, it is useful to return to the notion of a possible state of the world. We have said that in a situation of uncertainty the states of the world that are likely to be realized are to a great extent unknown. There is reliable evidence that permits us to think that the list of conceivable scenarios is not exhaustive, that each scenario is only described schematically and very incompletely, and that the causal chains that allow us to predict the conditions under which a scenario can or cannot be realized are only identified approximately.
This double requirement results in real exchanges taking place. But exchanges alone are not enough, however courteous and civilized. A gain must be produced. New knowledge must be acquired and shared, and new ways of thinking, seeing, and acting must be developed, pooled, and made available. Two fundamental mechanisms account for the production of this gain. The first mechanism is linked to the unusual confrontation that sociotechnical controversies organize between specialists and laypersons. Controversy establishes a brutal short circuit between these two poles, which are usually separated by an almost unbridgeable gulf.
Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy (Inside Technology) by Michel Callon, Pierre Lascoumes, Yannick Barthe