Find two primary sources dealing with a controversy about your
chosen topic. Look especially for sources that deal with both risk
and expertise & democracy.As with Essay 1, a primary source is
something taking a side in a controversy. Unlike Essay 1, your two
sources MUST oppose each other. The more specific the
controversy, the better. Your sources must have an argument,
contain references and have appeared either in a peer-reviewed
journal or book (preferable), or the webpages of organized
advocacy groups. Do NOT use newspaper (online or print),
Wikipedia, encyclopedia sources, or blogs.
• Science becomes caught between the expectation that it can answer questions of
risk likelihood and condemnation for political bias in any claims it actually
• Science cannot move beyond a certain level of uncertainty.
• The concept of “risk” has become one of the central organizing principles in
social theory today.
• Most practices have all come to be discussed within the broad theme of risk.
• Science appears divided as a source of both security and insecurity, knowledge
and doubt, solutions and more problems.
• Risk of “risk consciousness’, the perception that ‘we’ are increasingly at risk from
the consequences of human intervention in nature.
• Are we becoming more aware of risk that we are causing or are we just becoming
• One if that we are becoming more aware of the problem rather then the problem
being the same and us being more insecure.
::Two separate sociologicalanthropological ‘debate’ about risk consciousness
Mary Douglas (Latter Ulrich Beck Similarities
View) • Heightened risk the • Heightened sense of • The gulf between
result of greater insecurity in ‘risk the two theoretical
social insecurity. society’ the result of approaches remains
• All forms of a great great and
authority, including consciousness of significant in what
science, that leaves selfgenerated it highlights about
human beings ecological risk and knowledge, trust
feeling insecure and greater social and science in
vulnerable in the insecurity. contemporary
first place. • Society and science
• The need for re as part of society, • Whether science
establishing trust in must both be mo