This presentation examines the tensions between citizen participation and expert decision processes in the assessment of environmental and technological risks. Much of the discussion of this topic has focused on the “irrationality” of public participants, in particular the citizen’s inability to understand or accept scientific findings and its implications for rational policymaking. Through an epistemological comparison of the formal logic of science and the informal ordinary language logic of argumentation, this analysis turns the issue around and questions the rationality of conventional expertise in decisions pertaining to public policy. In the process, the presentation will show that ordinary citizens rationally focus on important questions that scientific experts ignore or neglect. Demonstrating the expert’s need to integrate the citizen’s perspective, the paper concludes with an approach for bringing them together.
05.06.2012 | 16:00 - 18:00
Sitzungssaal des Akademischen Senats, Henry-Ford-Bau (Garystr. 35) , FU Berlin