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CARDIFF UNIVERSITY UK Cardiff School of Social Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "CARDIFF UNIVERSITY UK Cardiff School of Social Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 CARDIFF UNIVERSITY UK Cardiff School of Social Sciences

2 The iconic question How can relativism, fascinating though it is, help me understand what to say to someone from the South African townships who claims that sex with a virgin will cure AIDS?

3 Origin The 2002 paper intended as un-contentious – a small increment to science studies, solving an intellectual problem WAVE 1WAVE 2WAVE 3 Science has special authority Produces certain results timelessly and without social process Science policy can be read off from science Science is a mundane social process THE LOGIC: science, per se, cannot have a distinctive role in policy Default response: Democratisation

4 Levelling the Doman Mount Science Cultural plain

5 Origin The 2002 paper intended as un-contentious – a small increment to science studies, solving an intellectual problem WAVE 1WAVE 2WAVE 3 Even without Wave 2 speed of politics is faster than speed of scientific consensus formation so solution needed Science has special authority Produces certain results timelessly and without social process Science policy can be read off from science Science is a mundane social process Recreate a role for science in policy THE LOGIC: science, per se, cannot have a distinctive role in policy Default response: Democratisation Technological Populism FROM TRUTH TO EXPERTISE

6 Problem of extension must be resolved Wave 1s definition of expert is incorrect. Expertise extends into the formally unqualified – experience-based experts But how far? There must be a limit or the notion of specialist expert is dissolved This is The Problem of Extension To resolve it must understand expertise

7 Levelling the Doman Cultural plain


9 Not a rejection Not a rejection of anything Not a change of mind about anything Annoying when people say things like: Remarkably, and to his credit, Collins recently softened his critical stance of science significantly, publishing a short essay [in Nature] entitled We cannot live by scepticism alone (From Pigliucci, 2010 Nonsense on Stilts, p322) One expects this from science warriors but not from social scientists – but that is what happened – a cliché of resistance to innovation

10 Why the intensity of reaction? Professional reasons aside, perhaps 3 rd Wave was seen as a change of mind because STS has evolved. Relativism was understood to be a major contributor to the reduction of the power of science – a shift of attention to something non-relativistic was seen as a betrayal If science studies main concern is reduction of the power of science then the 3rd Wave is a problem because of its concern with the Problem of Extension – which is an attempt to retain some influence for scientific expertise Has it become less the study of scientific knowledge and more a political movement concerned with reducing the power of science and scientists?

11 3Wave and power But actually, 3Wave takes almost the same position on the power and authority of science as Wave 2. It insists that scientists have no special warrant outside their narrow specialisms It opens up contributory expertise to experience- based but untrained and uncertified experts It insists that politics always trumps technical opinion But it wants to retain a place for some notion of scientific and technical expertise

12 The positive side of the intensity of reaction Because of the intensity of reaction the arguments had to be strongly defended and developed in many directions 3 rd Wave/SEE has become an extended programme of research

13 Map of 3 rd Wave/SEE Periodic table Interactional expertise Imitation game Ethnography Anthropology Sociology Comparative analysis of societies Relationship between science and politics at different levels Tacit Knowledge Philosophy Psychology Neuropsychology Elective modernism/ Rawlsian model Criminology Role of expertise in decision- making institutions Real-time analysis EXPERTISE Nature and analysis POLITICS Recognising expertise and scientific values DEMARCATION LLI Political philosophy Other categories Social theory Division of labour Notion of collectivity Fractal model Role of language/practice … … EXPERTISE DOMAIN POLITICS and POLICY DOMAIN STS DOMAIN Management Education Media Studies …

14 The new programme Two strands: 1)Technical: The analysis of expertise along with a new method for measuring interactional expertise 2)The World view: (a) Re-establish notion of scientific and technical expertise by solving the problem of extension (b) Re-establish the central role of scientific norms in the good society (Elective Modernism) and work out the associated politics 2b is where 3 rd Wave differs most markedly from the Weltanschauung of core STS

15 The Politics of the 3 rd Wave Combat technological populism and, it turns out, all forms of populism Not anti-democratic but, perhaps, Rawlsian democracy ( Durant 2010 ) Choose scientific values as central to society as they are a subset of democratic values (neo-Mertonian):`Elective Modernism Collins, Harry, Weinel, Martin and Evans, Robert, `The Politics and Policy of the Third Wave: New Technologies and Society Critical Policy Studies, 4, 2, )

16 Some crucial features 1.Science is a distinct form of life with characteristic features linked by family resemblance 2.Distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic politics 3.`Political phase has priority over but must not distort or subvert `technical phase, only publicly over-ride 4.Expertise is real and social scientists are experts on expertise

17 Credo 3-Wave is neither anti-democratic nor technocratic `Democracy cannot dominate every domain – that would destroy expertise – and expertise cannot dominate every domain – that would destroy democracy.

18 Some conclusions 1 Recognise but do not endorse religious or populist reasons in the making of technological decisions in the public domain. 2 Frame technological issues imaginatively so as to bring as many propositional questions and answers to the table as might bear on the technological decision. 3 Never suppress or distort the opinions of experts even if they must always be treated as subservient to politics but, on the contrary, make sure that all relevant answers to all relevant propositional questions are as visible as possible. 4 A good society will be informed by, among other things, scientific values for these are democratic values. 5 A good society will facilitate maximum scope for discussion of political matters and maximum exposure of technical matters. 6 Always aspire to keep the technical and the political phase separate even where they are combined in institutions or individuals.

19 Choose challenging cases for analysis 1 The Brent Spar oil rig: Cannot analyse it without asking and trying to answer propositional questions The `impurity argument is religious The utilitarian argument requires knowledge of the effects of rigs (eg, nurture fish) The `thin end of the wedge argument demands social analysis – the answer to a different kind of propositional question

20 Choose challenging cases for analysis 2 Thabo Mbekis AIDS policy: It may have been politically motivated But Mbeki said it was a scientific question, distorting the technical phase and disempowering the political process SEE could show, in real time, how Mbekis expertise was inappropriate to the making of a scientific decision

21 Choose challenging cases for analysis 3 MMR vaccine revolt Technological populism has led to deaths and suffering of the powerless The `lay experts were middle-class free riders and it is disappointing to see social scientists so misrepresent the distribution of power in society

22 Choose challenging cases for analysis 4 Criminal justice and deterrence Problem of populism: In the UK politicians appealing to popular opinion in respect of the deterrent effect of capital punishment would immediately reintroduce it In the more democratically responsive USA this has happened Same for punishment of criminals of all sorts: retain expert role for criminologists

23 Choose challenging cases for analysis 5 Popular intervention in education policy Student feedback/ parent choice? Teaching of creationism/intelligent design? Retain expert role for academics/teachers?

24 Concrete Institutions WEBSITE (Or Google Harry Collins Expertise) TALK LIST ANNUAL WORKSHOP SEESHOP1, 2, 3, 4 etc we hope

25 Jasanoffs view Jasanoff, 2003, writes: 3Wave is: trying to lock the barn door after the horse has already bolted. The worldwide movement in legislation and public policy these days is toward, not away from, wider participation … In general, Western states have accepted the notion that democratic publics are adult enough to determine how intensely and in what manner they wish to engage with decision-making, subject only to the constraints of time and other resources … If this is the state of the world, then why should we pay attention to work that seems on its face to be looking for principles with which to limit the scope of public participation? Jasanoff, S., 2003a. Breaking Waves in Science Studies: Comment on H.M. Collins and Robert Evans, The Third Wave of Science Studies. Social Studies of Science 33(3),

26 Wynnes view … when Thabo Mbeki was pilloried a few years ago according to western rationality standards, for apparently cleaving to the propositional claim that HIV was not the cause of AIDS, he was said by others who were closer to his thinking and speaking, to have been saying, not that there is no causal connection between HIV and AIDS, but something very different and orthogonal to the propositional question in itself - that the causal progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS is strongly exacerbated by poverty, malnutrition, immune-system deficit, bad hygiene and sanitation conditions, and other poverty-related conditions, which extravagantly expensive western commercial drug responses (this was before cheaper but still expensive more local generic drugs were available) advanced by extortionate global corporations would not resolve, but would compete with for investment. He was emphasising his view of the need to focus priority on a different set of salient factors in the multi- factorial situation. It was definitely an arguable position; but it was not a superstitious expression of anti-real beliefs

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