Responsible innovation and the role of scientific advice in democracy


Published on

Introducing Prof. Wiebe Bijker, FGB May 3rd

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Responsible innovation and the role of scientific advice in democracy

  1. 1. Responsible innovation and the role of scientific advice in democracy Introducing Prof. Wiebe Bijker, FGB May 3 rd
  2. 2. Wiebe Bijker and the (social) studies of science, technology and society (STS) <ul><li>The social construction of technological systems, 1987 </li></ul><ul><li>Shaping Technology / Building Society, 1992 (with J.Law) </li></ul><ul><li>Of Bycicles, Bakelites & Bulbs. Towards a theory of sociotechnical change, 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>The Paradox of Scientific Authority. The role of scientific advice in democracies (or. Dutch ed.), 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Past, Present and Future of Research in the Information Society, 2006 (with Benson & Brunnstein) </li></ul>
  3. 3. The paradox of scientific authority <ul><li>“ The cases in which scientific advice is asked more urgently are those in which the authority of science is questioned more thoroughly”, p. 1 </li></ul><ul><li>...The aim of this book is to contribute to a theory of scientific advising in which this paradox is resolved </li></ul><ul><li>HOW? - Unpacking the articulations of institutional power – where does power lie and how does it act? </li></ul><ul><li>“ an ethnographic turn in studying the democratic governance of technological cultures” </li></ul>
  4. 4. The role of scientific advice in democracy <ul><li>How are technological elites checked and held accountable? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the (best) relation between scientific advice and policy making? </li></ul><ul><li>Which role can STS play in the politics of modern societies built on science and technologies? (pp. 2-3) </li></ul>
  5. 5. STS at the Bassetti Foundation <ul><li>Sheila Jasanoff, prof. of Science and Technology Studies, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University: “the comparative politics of bio-ethics”, 6th May 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>the political implications of society's image of science: bioethics as a cultural narration with normative effects </li></ul><ul><li>“ collective knowledge ways constitute a culture's civic epistemology: they are distinctive, systematic, often institutionalised, and articulated through practice rather than in formal rules” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Taking European Knowledge Society Seriously <ul><li>February 15th 2008: Brian Wynne and Mariachiara Tallacchini present the report to the European Commission, Taking European Society Seriously (2007) in Italian transl: Scienza e Governance. Rubbettino, 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Regimes of collective experimentation”: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The European Commission needs to create the conditions for a structured dialogue on questions relative to science, with a view to anticipating and clarifying the hopes and fears of the public”. </li></ul>
  7. 7. &quot;No Innovation without Representation” <ul><li>17 th November, 2003: Bruno Latour's lecture A Parliament of things for the new Technical Democracies </li></ul><ul><li>increased participation of non-experts in the governance of science, blurring of the border between science and politics, emergence of &quot;hybrid forums&quot; (with representatives of &quot;natural things&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>... new political arrangements? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Deliberative democracy and its “experts” <ul><li>December 3rd 2008, Daniel Mulhollan, Director of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress (IRER conference – Consultive fora - building trust ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Congress set up the CRS with &quot;complete research independence&quot; and &quot;maximum practicable administrative independence&quot; to serve as its research arm in legislative decision-making. </li></ul><ul><li>What does it mean to be an expert consultant to a decision-maker in the US context? Does reliance on expertise constitute a challenge to representative democracy? </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy, Responsibility, Authoritativeness </li></ul>
  9. 9. A normative study of the Dutch health Council ( Gezondheidsraad) as a “boundary organization” <ul><li>The GR “advises the government on the state of scientific knowledge” and does not meddle with politics (in theory) </li></ul><ul><li>IN PRACTICE: </li></ul><ul><li>The GR's has freedom of interpretation towards normative social discussions </li></ul><ul><li>The GR’s responds to its institutional environment </li></ul><ul><li>The GR positions itself as a social actor </li></ul>
  10. 10. Frontstage/Backstage work for policy making effectiveness <ul><li>Translating the state of scientific knowledge to make it useful for politics and for policy making </li></ul><ul><li>Prepairing the stage: co-defining the issue and recruiting the “right” committee experts </li></ul><ul><li>Landing of the advice report: Repairing misinterpretations; Advocating the intended message </li></ul><ul><li>Many publics, many possible criteria for success, no standard protocol </li></ul>
  11. 11. Which role for scientific advice in the democratic governance of technoscience? <ul><li>The increasing role of uncertainty and risk </li></ul><ul><li>How to weave scientific advice and public participation together </li></ul><ul><li>“ subtle boundary work and coordination mechanisms to translate the state of scientific knowledge into serviceable truth” </li></ul><ul><li>“ institutions with confidential internal processes are necessary for proper functioning of democracy at the level of technological cultures” </li></ul>