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Democratising expertise and socially robust knowledge


  • Helga Nowotny


This paper presents arguments for the inherent ‘transgressiveness’ of expertise. First, it must address issues that can never be reduced to the purely scientific and purely technical, and hence must link up with diverse practices, institutions and actors. Second, it addresses audiences that are never solely composed of fellow-experts, whose expectations and modes of understanding reflect the heterogeneous experience of mixed audiences. Recent demands for greater accountability have created a vast site for social experimentation, especially on the supra-national level, which are briefly reviewed. However, the democratisation of expertise also creates tensions, especially on the institutional level. Moving from reliable knowledge towards socially robust knowledge may be one step forward in negotiating and bringing about a regime of pluralistic expertise. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.

Suggested Citation

  • Helga Nowotny, 2003. "Democratising expertise and socially robust knowledge," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 151-156, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:scippl:v:30:y:2003:i:3:p:151-156

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