43. Expertise at the time of polycrisis

Paolo Parra Saiani, University of Genoa; Paraskevas Vezyridis, Nottingham University Business School;

In the last two decades, the world has been facing several multifaceted and overlapping uncertainties and crises, such as global pandemics, environmental degradation, wars, social unrests, high inflation, and food insecurities. Lately, the term 'polycrisis' (Morin and Kern, 1999) has reached centre stage in (World Economic) Fora. If this polycrisis is now a permanent state of affairs for the global commons, then we need to ascertain our lack of understanding them if we are to contain their lasting detrimental effects, especially for those most disadvantaged. Concurrently, distinctions between experts and non-experts are increasingly being questioned. Distinctions between experts and non-experts are often considered misleading since no decision can be exclusively scientific when there are many intersections of technoscientific spheres at play. To study expertise from a STS point of view could mean to studying the social dynamics by which scientists, other specialists but also 'ordinary citizens' (as citizen experts) gain (or lose) the role of expert in crises. Of particular interest to this Open Panel are analytical or empirical attempts to answer, in the context of polycrisis, questions such as how crisis data and evidence socio-materialize, which (and how) experts come to prominence, what are the effects and failures of their expert knowledge, what are the consequences of politicizing expert debates, and what kind of technoscientific worlds are emerging out of these circumstances?

Contact: paolo.parra.saiani@unige.it, Paraskevas.Vezyridis@nottingham.ac.uk

Keywords: Disciplines and the Social Organization of Science and Technology, Forms and Practices of Expertise, Governance and Public Policy, polycrisis

Published: 04/07/2023