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Towards a new paradigm of science in scientific policy advising
Posted by Jeroen on Monday, October 15 2007 @ 12:02:47 BST
News and announcements Post Normal Science essay by Eva Kunseler: Towards a new paradigm of science in scientific policy advising.

The prevailing paradigm of science is not suitable for the science policy context with its different perceptions of reality and presence of great scientific uncertainty and ignorance. A paradigm shift is argued by the concept of post-normal science, which emerged from dissatisfaction with knowledge arising from the gap between policy questions and scientific answers. Scientific policy advising in normal and post-normal context exemplify the line of reasoning.

Download Eva Kunseler's essay

Kunseler concludes in her essay: Within the new paradigm decision-making is no longer based on ‘optimal’ solutions provided by scientists. The role of scientists still remains crucial, though it is somewhat changed. They have to contribute to the definition of acceptable compromises. For this purpose, scientists have to contribute to society by learning as quickly as possible about different perceptions towards options, problems and constraints, instead of seeking deep ultimate knowledge. In a ‘post-normal’ world, scientists still have to guarantee the quality of their work where the definition of quality has to include many more criteria of performance than those required for normal science. The paradigm shift would create the opportunity for development of new methods of knowledge quality assessment. Policy-oriented scientific advisory bodies would certainly welcome such a revolution.

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