Science and technology scholars write and talk a lot about post-normal science, the unique political situation that emerges for issues where there are considerable stakes and high levels of (perceived) uncertainty. I was asked to give a talk on short notice at the World Biodiversity Forum this week, and I used it as an opportunity to think through how people involved in areas of post-normal science and politics try to cope with or escape the situation of post-normality. Can the stakes be reduced while still addressing the problem? Can the perceived uncertainties be lessened without other stakeholders seeing it as dishonest, biased, or unfair? Those are just a few of the thoughts that I explored. Unfortunately, the talk wasn't recorded, but here is a link to the slides.
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Taylor C. Dotson is an associate professor at New Mexico Tech, a Science and Technology Studies scholar, and a research consultant with WHOA. He is the author of The Divide: How Fanatical Certitude is Destroying Democracy and Technically Together: Reconstructing Community in a Networked World. Here he posts his thoughts on issues mostly tangential to his current research.
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