By Michel Callon
Controversies over such matters as nuclear waste, genetically converted organisms, asbestos, tobacco, gene treatment, avian flu, and cellphone towers come up virtually day-by-day as speedy medical and technological advances create uncertainty and produce approximately unexpected issues. The authors of performing in an doubtful international argue that political associations has to be multiplied and more advantageous to control those controversies, to rework them into effective conversations, and to lead to "technical democracy." They express how "hybrid forums"—in which specialists, non-experts, traditional voters, and politicians come together—reveal the boundaries of conventional delegative democracies, within which judgements are made through quasi-professional politicians and techno-scientific info is the area of experts in laboratories. The department among execs and laypeople, the authors declare, is just outdated. The authors argue that laboratory study may be complemented via daily experimentation pursued within the actual global, they usually describe a number of modes of cooperation among the 2. They discover quite a number concrete examples of hybrid boards that experience handled sociotechnical controversies together with nuclear waste disposal in France, commercial waste and delivery defects in Japan, a early life leukemia cluster in Woburn, Massachusetts, and Mad Cow sickness within the uk. They speak about the results for political choice making commonly, they usually describe a "dialogic" democracy that enriches conventional consultant democracy. To invent new techniques for session and illustration, they recommend, is to give a contribution to an unending approach that's worthy for the continued democratization of democracy. inside of know-how sequence
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Extra info for Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy
The latter thus contributes to the formation of networks of actors sharing a collective project, to the emergence of ‘‘project’’ or ‘‘cause’’ coalitions that otherwise would not have existed. These reconfigurations of identities, proximities, alliances, and commitments result in a veritable mutual learning process that is all the more fruitful as the traditional representative institutions are powerfully short-circuited. Controversies make it possible to overcome the gap separating laypersons and specialists, but also to go beyond the sterile roles of the ordinary citizen and his legitimate representatives that tend to prevail.
As the following chapters will show, it allows laypersons to enter into the scientific and technical content of projects in order to propose solutions, and it leads the promoters to redefine their projects and to explore new lines of research able to integrate demands they had never considered. To what are these effects of learning due? First, to the constraints that every organized debate in a public space brings to bear on the actors involved. In the dynamic of controversy, everyone is asked to listen to other people, to respond clearly to their arguments, and to formulate counter-proposals.
Thanks to this double transgression, as yet unidentified overflows are revealed and made manageable. The hybrid forums could thus become an apparatus of elucidation. The cost of accepting their use is acceptance of the challenge to the two great divisions. Actors involved in socio-technical controversies are not mistaken. When they establish a new hybrid form, 36 Chapter 1 they lay their cards on the table: ‘‘We do not accept the monopoly of experts! ’’ Every hybrid forum is a new work site. It is a site for testing out forms of organization and procedure intended to facilitate cooperation between specialists and laypersons, but also for giving visibility and audibility to emergent groups that lack official spokespersons.