Dr. Durant's research focuses on disputes between experts and publics, and he has published widely on controversies involving nuclear waste management, nuclear power, public policy about energy options, and more recently is investigating climate change policy-making. Dr. Durant's general approach asks questions about the different contributions made and roles played by experts and lay publics.
In democracies, we face a challenge. Concerns about procedural legitimacy result in demands for public involvement in policy-making about social issues involving expert knowledge. But procedure can only go so far, because in a democracy we are also concerned to get it right, so there is a reciprocal demand for expert input. It is too simple to say we just have to balance the two, because expert and lay public input are often about different questions, different weightings to what kinds of errors to be concerned about, and even different assessments of what factors deserve most attention in trying to figure out what is right. Instead, we have to make tough choices about who to listen to, and that might mean we have to think through exactly where expert and lay public input is best directed.
Recent publications include:
- 2019. Expertise and the Will of the People. Forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan. Co-authored with Harry Collins, Robert Evans and Martin Weinel. - 2019. 'Ignoring Experts'. The Third Wave of Science and Technology Studies: Future Research Directions on Expertise and Experience. Edited by David Caudill et.al (Palgrave Macmillan, 33-52).- 2018. 'Manufacturing a better planet: challenges due to the gap between the best intentions and social realities.' Recycling, 3(2): 1-20. Co-authored with Adam Lucas.- 2018. 'Servant or Partner? The role of expertise and knowledge in democracy.' The Conversation, 9 March 2018. Online: https://theconversation.com/servant-or-partner-the-role-of-expertise-and-knowledge-in-democracy-92026
- 2018. ‘Remaking Participation: or, cheering on participation.’ Metascience, 27(2): 259-265. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11016-018-0289-z
- 2017. ‘Who are you calling ‘anti-science’? How science serves social and political agendas.’ The Conversation, 31 July 2017. Online: https://theconversation.com/who-are-you-calling-anti-science-how-science-serves-social-and-political-agendas-74755
. Reprinted in The Conversation yearbook 2017: 50 Standout Articles from Australia's Top Thinkers. Edited by John Watson (The Conversation Trust, 66-71). - 2017. ‘Coffee House Environmentalism’. In Naturophilia, edited by Renee Beale. Melbourne: The University of Melbourne.
- 2016. ‘The Undead Linear Model of Expertise.’ In Policy Legitimacy, Science and Political Authority: Knowledge and action in liberal democracies, edited by Michael Heazle and John Kane, 17-38. NY: Routledge Press, 2016.
- 2015. ‘Simulative Politics: the case of nuclear waste disposal.’ Environmental Politics 24(3): 442-460.
- 2014. 'Collins on Experts: Gangnam Style STS'. Metascience 25(1) 2015: 119-124.
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Nuclear Fantasies Down Under: The Political And Economic Problems With Old Money Power
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Manufacturing a Better Planet: Challenges Arising from the Gap between the Best Intentions and Social Realities
Darrin Durant, Adam Lucas
Journal article | 2018 | Recycling
With rising concerns about the social and environmental impacts of industrial and manufacturing waste, scientists and engineers ha..
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Lecturer In Science And Technology Studies
Historical And Philosophical Studies
Society for Social Studies of Science
Doctorate of Philosophy
University of Toronto
Masters of Arts
University of Toronto
Bachelor of Arts (Hons)
University of Wollongong