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Wolf Schäfer

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.

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Sezin Topçu

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.

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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

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Natural Resources by Numbers

The Promise of “El uno por mil” in Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Oil Operations

Amelia Fiske

. “ 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