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By Alan Irwin

We're all involved by means of the environmental threats dealing with us this day. Environmental matters are an enormous sector of shock for coverage makers, industrialists and public teams of many alternative forms. whereas technological know-how turns out principal to our figuring out of such threats, the statements of scientists are more and more open to problem during this quarter. in the meantime, electorate could locate themselves labelled as `ignorant' in environmental issues. In Citizen technology Alan Irwin offers a miles wanted direction throughout the fraught courting among technological know-how, the general public and the environmental probability.

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Additional info for Citizen Science: A Study of People, Expertise and Sustainable Development

Example text

Their claim to authority was based precisely upon the impartiality and neutrality of the expertise which they proffered (and also upon the ‘good will’ and ‘fair play’ of the decision-making structures within which they operate). This became an issue especially in the BSE case with numerous allegations of ‘false experts’ on the ‘opposing’ side. Thus John Gummer was quoted in the House of Commons as stressing the significance of ‘true’ expertise: He hoped the BBC, ITV and others would ask before inter viewing people as ‘exper ts’ whether they had published in journals which their peers could check or if they had submitted evidence to the Tyrrel Committee.

25 This review is considerably longer than the farmworker dossier – it presented, for example, a thorough review of major scientific developments since the ACP’s previous report. It appraised all the evidence in some detail and included a series of appendices on topics ranging from environmental effects and operator exposure to the consideration of alternative pesticides. As regards the specific matters raised by the farmworkers, the ACP devoted one section of its report to a consideration of the casestudies put forward by the NUAAW.

It would appear, therefore, that whilst the infor mation distribution exercise may have been successful in avoiding public outcry, it had only limited success as a preparation for a real emergency. Accordingly, the linkage between this infor mation exercise and ‘active and informed citizenship’ seems somewhat less than satisfactory. More particularly, this example seems to reinforce the notion of public indifference to technical advice. Here we have specific, carefully prepared and well-distributed advice to an ‘at risk’ 26 SCIENCE AND CITIZENSHIP group which is then apparently ignored.

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