For years, the interaction between science and politics was a one-way relationship in which scientists would provide politicians with neutral, objective and reliable knowledge to support decision-making. The complexity of today’s challenges, where ‘facts are uncertain, values in dispute, interests high and decisions urgent’, has made this narrative inadequate concerning knowledge and its public sharing. This volume recounts the change in this interaction from the ‘post-normal science’ (PNS) approach proposed in the 1990s by Jerome Ravetz and Silvio Funtowicz, authors of the first two articles on the actuality and future of PNS. The other contributions of more than 50 authors explore the challenges that PNS represents both in theoretical and participatory research and public engagement practices in Italy.
The book is the first in the Editorial Series “SCIENZIATI IN AFFANNO?” [SCIENTISTS IN DISTRESS?] which deals with the changes in research in a context in which the relations between science, society and politics are the subject of public discussion and redefinition.