This contribution revisits the dictum "history is the teacher of life" (historia magistra vitae) and shows that modern knowledge-societies are beginning to use their growing information about natural and human history to address present-day problems. Starting with Leopold von Ranke's refusal to investigate history for the benefit of learning from it, the essay cites two contemporary attempts at extracting useful knowledge from history: "real-world experiments" and "natural experiments." Wolfgang Krohn developed the former with collaborators in Bielefeld and Jared Diamond features the latter.
This article adduces evidence of the central role played by scientists in the 1970s and “lay persons” in the post-Chernobyl period in the production and legitimation of alternative types of knowledge and expertise on the environmental and health risks of nuclear energy in France. From a constructivist perspective, it argues that this shift in the relationship of “lay persons” to knowledge production is linked not only to the rise of mistrust vis-à-vis scientific institutions but also, and especially, to a change in the way they have reacted to “dependency” on institutions and to “state secrecy”. Counter-expertise is constructed as a politics of surveillance where alternative interpretations of risk are buttressed by a permanent critique of the epistemic assumptions of institutional expertise. The identity of “counter-expert” is socially elaborated within this process.
Posthuman? Nature and Culture in Renegotiation
Kornelia Engert and Christiane Schürkmann
exposed and transformed into an ethical category. Phenomena, incidents, and developments—such as the great challenge of climate change, accidents as witnessed in Chernobyl 1989, catastrophes such as tsunamis and bushfires, or the mutation of pathogens as
Nuclear Waste Management and its Challenges for Nature-Culture-Relationships
Insurance of Nuclear Hazard: Risk Policy, Safety Production and Expertise in the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States]. Göttingen : Wallstein . Wynne , Brian . 1989 . “ Sheepfarming after Chernobyl: A Case Study in Communicating Scientific
The Promise of “El uno por mil” in Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Oil Operations
. “ The Role of Quantitative Models in Science .” In Models in Ecosystem Science , 13 – 31 . Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . Petryna , Adriana . 2002 . Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl . Princeton, NJ : Princeton
Eugene N. Anderson, Jodie Asselin, Jessica diCarlo, Ritwick Ghosh, Michelle Hak Hepburn, Allison Koch, and Lindsay Vogt
“green” attitudes toward technology that emerged in the mid-twentieth century were a response to the excesses of capitalism, disasters like Chernobyl, and technologies such as DDT. When these “green” attitudes were translated into policy, he claims, they