Panels details > Panel 33

P33- Humility and reflexivity as ways out of the expert-publics divide?

PANEL Organizers :
• Kunseler Eva (eva.kunseler@pbl.nl), PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Netherlands), VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (Netherlands)


SUMMARY
Scientific knowledge and more specific the position of scientific experts is publicly contested, especially when the topic under debate is surrounded by uncertainty. Exemplary topics are electromagnetic fields, antimicrobial resistance, nature conservation and sustainable urban development. This panel invites papers that discuss humility and reflexivity as ways out of the expert-publics divide in science-policy interfacing. Engaging the wider public (such as policy makers, practitioners, local stakeholders) in expert practices could improve the capacity of experts for accommodating the partiality of scientific knowledge and for acting under the inevitable uncertainty it holds. This panel addresses the proposition that cultures of reflexivity and humility may bring knowledgeable publics into the front-end of scientific and technological processes ? a place from which they historically have been excluded. The enactment of humiliate and reflexive attitudes call for different expert capabilities and different forms of engagement between experts and their publics. Humility brings in the acknowledgement of plural viewpoints and an orientation towards collective learning. (Self)-reflexivity triggers experts to become more aware of the social implications of their own representations and of the disciplinary, institutional and cultural perspectives they are embedded in. This panel puts forward two sets of questions. First, we are interested in understanding how humility and reflexivity become conceptualised as ways out of the expert-publics divide. What are the consequent implications hereof for the constructed identities of experts and their publics? Another set of questions is of a more practical nature. What does the enactment of reflexivity and humility entail for our predominantly modernist science-policy arrangements ? Hence, we are interested in learning from theoretical accounts and experiential studies. The panel is organised in a discussant format involving speakers to reflect upon each other's work, followed by a panel debate.

KEY WORDS
Expert, publics divide, reflexivity, humility, science, policy interface

ROOM
Faculty E2.11

SESSION 1 : 9/07/15 : 09:00-10:30

Chairs:
Eva Kunseler (eva.kunseler@pbl.nll), VU University Amsterdam; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Netherlands)

Humility and reflexivity as adaptive management: lessons for theory and practice
Emma Westling and Liz Sharp (e.westling@sheffield.ac.uk), University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)

Discussant : Eva Kunseler (eva.kunseler@pbl.nl), VU University Amsterdam; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Netherlands)

Reflecting on uncertainty: introspection and retrospection through climate-economic narratives
Elisa Vecchione (elisa.vecchione@lshtm.ac.uk), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France); London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom)

Discussant : Emma Westling (e.westling@sheffield.ac.uk), University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)

• Accommodating transdisciplinary research in environmental policy assessment: an insurmountable gap?
Eva Kunseler (eva.kunseler@pbl.nl), VU University Amsterdam; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Netherlands)

Discussant : Elisa Vecchione (elisa.vecchione@lshtm.ac.uk), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France); London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom)

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