Journal article

Accounting for expertise: Wynne and the autonomy of the lay public actor

D Durant

Public Understanding of Science | Published : 2008


This paper argues that the public understanding of science has eliminated the understanding gap between experts and the public, but erected an ontological gap in its place. Experts are conceived of as unreflexive, but lay public actors as reflexive. To provide a concrete grounding for this claim, this paper offers a conceptual analysis of Brian Wynne's work on the public understanding of science. Wynne's work intersects theorizing about late modernity (explored via a comparison with Beck's and Giddens') and debates about the role of experts and the public in decision-making (explored via a comparison to Collins and Evans). I show that Wynne's work, as with Beck's and Giddens', and Collins an..

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