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New Book "Expertise and its Interfaces" issued [13.08.2003]

Expertise and its Interfaces

In the past 20 years scientific advice has been sought to an increasing degree in all areas of policy and is actively involved in problem formulation and strategy development, e.g. by the institutionalisation of scientific counsels, specific research programmes or its influence on public opinion. The valuation of scientific expertise in areas outside science itself has however lead to a paradoxical situation: The use of scientific knowledge implies the dissolution and de-legitimation of the traditional science base in politics and everyday life, and at the same time science itself is drawn into the maelstrom of public debates and is in danger of losing its legitimation as neutral instance.

The book is based on a Workshop which took place in October 2001 in Budapest, which was organised by ITAS in cooperation with two Hungarian institutes - the Department of Innovation Studies and History of Technology at the Budapest University of Technology and the Institute of Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The volume takes up the debate on expertise from four different perspectives: In the first part, the question of the societal role of expertise in a developing knowledge society is discussed (with contributions form Gotthard Bechmann, Nico Stehr, Frank Fischer, Peter Weingart). The second part is concerned with the specifically ethical aspects of expertise (Rachelle D. Hollander, Armin Grunwald, Laszlo Molnar). In the third part, expertise is seen within the context of its application in society (Imre Hronszky, Lesley Kuhn, Michael Decker / Eva M. Neumann-Held, Jiri Loudin). In the last part, three case studies are presented: Pal Tamas / Janos Farkas deal with the role expertise has played in socialist states; Gilbert Fayl provides insight into the EU consultation process.

Bibliographic details:
Gotthard Bechmann, Imre Hronsky (eds.)
Expertise and its Interfaces. The Tense Relationship of Science and Politics. Berlin: edition sigma, 2003 (Gesellschaft - Technik - Umwelt, Neue Folge 4), ISBN: 3-89404-934-0, 295 p., 19,90 Euro

Contents here Introduction here


  • Private Homepage from Gotthard Bechmann here
  • Edition sigma on the web here