Making systematic sense of public discontents with expert knowledge: Two analytical approaches and a case study

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Abstract / Description of output

Several recent strands of work within science studies, risk analysis, the public understanding of science, and environmental policy analysis have focused on the significance of lay knowledge and expertise. In case after case, it has been suggested that "expert" accounts of physical reality have conflicted with local people's knowledge and that rather than local knowledge being routinely inferior and defective, it has commonly proven more sensitive to local "realities." These cases have become favored sites for studying public discontents with expert knowledge. Though the primary style of analysis in this emerging tradition has consisted of the case study, two conceptual schema for clarifying this topic have recently been proposed by Funtowicz and Ravetz and by Wynne. This paper uses a case study in the local understanding of an air-quality model to undertake a conceptual and empirical assessment of these contrasting analytical frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-122
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

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