Dai tessuti con nanoparticelle ai salmoni transgenici: Quali competenze per un’educazione della società civile alla sostenibilità?

Laura Colucci-Gray, Alice Benessia, Vincenzo Guarnieri, Giuseppe Barbiero, Elena Camino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Modern technoscience is increasingly offering to the public new products (objects, food, medicines) that are the result of synergies between advanced scientific research and private enterprises. When examining the history of these products we realize that one or more stages of such history are characterized by uncertainty or ignorance about the effects that such new structures or organisms may exert upon the natural environment or the human health, and by conflicts that derive from the consumption of resources and the transformation of socio-ecosystems. The traditional way of teaching science, addressed to help students to learn specific disciplinary notions, and to transmit the idea that science can offer definite answers to problems, does not provide students with conceptual tools useful to cope with the complexity of the processes implied in the production, and does not supply them with competences useful to assess the opportunity and safety of such technoscientific products. Yet, young people and adults – the civil society – should be given the opportunity to intervene, not only in the final phases as consumers, but also during all the preceding steps – from the financing to the experimentations to the decisional processes about implementation – according to the principle that, in a democratic society, all citizens are stakeholders, holders of human and environmental rights, and directly involved in all decisions regarding the fulfilment of primary needs. So, which competences should scientific education promote, in order to allow all citizens – even if they are not ‘experts’ – to express their ideas in debates regarding socio-scientific issues, and to make their choices in full awareness of the complexities and uncertainties of the situations? Through the description of two case studies we illustrate some of the conceptual tools that may help to cope with the questions that the modern technoscience increasingly asks.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)190-205
Number of pages16
JournalCultura della Sostenibilità
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • post-normal science
  • nanotechnologies
  • education

Cite this