Monday, April 13, 2009

Risk And Environment

It seems as though Wynne has pointed out that environmental problems have been exacerbated by the scientific communities and the relation they have to environmental discourse. Technology has often been seen as infallible and the scientific community sees itself as an all knowing entity. The problem is that the scientific community has neglected the inquiries and concerns of the commoners as though they are unfounded.
The other aspects are related to the grounds upon which they do this; they have a professional ego that leaves culturally relevant material such as relevant questions on safety and effectiveness of technology and innovation, these are disregarded and not to be taken seriously. This forced hierarchy causes incomplete information to be that basis for our understanding of environmental problems; the scientific community holds an ego that does not allow for outside opinion or input.

This process causes outsiders to be alienated from the process and in effect trust for the scientific community subsides. This also leads the way towards eco-skepticism; why should we trust the people that have been so wrong in the past and been so irresponsible? (Challenger, WTC). The scientific community loses any legitimacy due to the inefficiency of the past, and as a result public support for environmental change wains in a boy who cried wolf scenario.

The article proposes a change in this structure, specifically to allow for the many dynamic groups to form a coalition and have a better, multidimensional approach to environmental change. This coalition would provide relevant and diverse arguments that could be the makeup for real policy change in regards to the environment, as well as affirming the scientific community’s legitimacy in regards to environmental crises. This process would eventually lead to a more democratic diversified approach to environmental responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. The scientific community ignoring the public’s concerns when dealing with certain issues is definitely a problem. In order for policies to really work, it seems like the public would need to take part in the policy formation process in order to fully understand it. They need to understand how the policies work in order for them to be carried out correctly. Wynne said “If gaining the clarity needed for public authority meant compromising strict truth, this was a sound bargain. The field of science and public policy was founded on this instrumental and positivist premise.” That’s kind of disturbing. This means the public doesn’t have enough information about environmental issues. If the public can’t trust the scientists making the policy, than it won’t work.