A Crisis of Expertise? Legitimacy and the Challenge of Policymaking
T: 9035 4836
At a time when the economic, social and environmental governance challenges facing contemporary societies have grown in severity, scope and complexity, trust in experts and established institutions is in decline. In the process the role and legitimacy of expertise in policymaking has increasingly been called into question. It is timely to think anew, and self-critically, about our assumptions regarding experts and expertise. In this two-day conference our focus is on policymaking which is controversial, contested and complex, which is sociotechnical and not simply technical or purely scientific.
In particular to explore these three themes and how they manifest in practical policymaking:
Knowledge & Society
What constitutes scientific and social scientific expertise, how is it produced and reproduced, and what knowledge/s and technologies of expertise are deployed? When and why do experts get it wrong? When it comes to making policy, what assumptions and problem-framings are prevalent, which experts and what expertise is recruited, and how are knowledge gaps and ignorance handled. What publics matter?
Policy in Practice
What does the ‘crisis of expertise’ mean for thinking and re-thinking policymaking in practice? Is the ‘crisis of expertise’ a problem of democracy or does it go beyond this? What evidence counts, how is expert knowledge communicated, what is the role of science advisors, in-government experts, public and experiential expertise and public engagement in policymaking? When does policymaking ‘work’ and when does it ‘fail’, and why? And, given increasing specialisation, what is the role of inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches?
Innovation and Experimentation
What innovative approaches to policymaking and expertise hold the most promise? These might include the promise and perils of greater public participation and democratisation of policymaking, or the use of citizen science, citizen juries, aggregative expertise, crowd wisdom, practical knowledge, indigenous knowledge and so on. What might be learned from policy-making in the global ‘South’?
This conference aims to include leading thinkers and policy practitioners both locally and globally. It is designed to be relatively small in size to enable all attendees to participate actively. Visit the conference website for program details and accommodation options.
Professor Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies
Professor Sheila Jasanoff
Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies
SHEILA JASANOFF is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Previously, she was founding chair of Cornell University’s Department of Science and Technology Studies. At Harvard, she founded and directs the Program on Science, Technology and Society. Jasanoff’s research centers on the interactions of law, science, and politics in democratic societies. She has written more than 120 articles and book chapters and authored or edited more than 15 books, including The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, and Designs on Nature. An edited volume, Dreamscapes of Modernity, was published in 2015. Her newest book, The Ethics of Invention, appeared in 2016. Jasanoff has held numerous distinguished professorships in the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. She was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and Karl W. Deutsch Guest Professor at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin. Her awards include a Guggenheim fellowship, the Austrian Government’s Ehrenkreuz, the George Sarton Chair of the University of Ghent, the Bernal award of the Society for Social Studies of Science, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Twente. She is a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard College, a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Professor Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy
Professor Andy Stirling
Professor of Science and Technology Policy
University of Sussex
Andy Stirling is Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex and longstanding member of the Sussex Energy Group. He is CoDirector of the STEPS Centre, Deputy Director of the DEFRA/ESRC Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group and Director of a University Enterprise on Multicriteria Mapping. Professor Stirling is an interdisciplinary researcher, policy advisor and teacher on issues concerning democracy and sustainability in science, technology and innovation with an education background in Science and Astronomy, Masters in Archaeology and Social Anthropology and a Doctorate in Technology Policy. His research focuses on directions of progress, knowledge and power, precaution and participation, ‘Opening Up’ social appraisal and diversity and transformation. He has contributed to 8 books/monographs, 3 edited books, 52 academic book chapters, and 47 refereed articles.