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NATS 1760(DURANT)- Science, Technology and Citizenship 1: Publics .docx

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Department
Natural Science
Course
NATS 1760
Professor
Darrin Durant
Semester
Fall

Description
SC NATS 1760 DARRIN DURANT/ JAMES ELWICK Kleinmann: “Why is Thinking About Science and Technology so Hard?” Pg. 1-21 What should the role of publics be who do not have technical expertise? SCIENTISM  Facts versus values  Facts beat values  Let experts decide  Normative standpoint: How should we do things? What is the correct way?  Scientific claim: if you believe in my fact you will follow my values (fact trumps values) TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESSIVISM  Technology is a tool for progress (always?)  Technology develops according to technical criteria not social choices  Let experts decide -Each subsequent form of technology is better than the last -How are we measuring the progress? -Is more technology always better? THE PROBLEM OF SPECIALISM  We live in a world where we rely on specialists to do things  The more complex the device, the less we know about it  A problem of difference (cannot grow our own food, cure our own illness, fix our own cars)  What does it imply for the role of public and the role of experts? READING COMPREHENSION KLEINMANN’S THESIS  Thesis: “The quality of decisions made on highly technical matters might very well be improved by broadening the array of knowledge producers beyond traditional experts” pg. 3-4  Experts assessments reflect their social location  All knowledge reflects a perspective  There is a tension between democracy and experts  Publics should have input whenever they are affected  Tasks (to do in order to support the thesis)? - Show the limits of partiality of experts‟ knowledge - Show how non-experts can improve decision-making - Show that there are barriers to public participation THE DEFICIT MODEL OF PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING Brian Wynne:  The issue is what publics possess, not what they lack  Opposes the downloading idea of how science engages with broader publics  Concentrates on how public issues are “framed”  Are public issues framed in a narrow or broad fashion? - As if what is at issue is just the facts, not the values - Treating a public issue that involves expert knowledge as one that is about expert knowledge EXPERTS ARE LIMITED  Epidemiology: Woburn (MA). 1960-70‟s water pollution and leukemia  Experts: getting it wrong (blaming the water) means a lack of competence, so they erred on side of saying no link  Publics: but residents want the caution to err on the side of saying there might be a link  Post-Chernobyl fall
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