Post-Normal Science

Authored by: Roger Strand

Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138931510
eBook ISBN: 9781315679747
Adobe ISBN: 9781317395102


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Post-normal science (PNS) is a critical concept originally developed to describe situations in which there are important or controversial public decision problems informed by an incomplete, uncertain or contested knowledge base. In this chapter, such problems are called “post-normal problems”. Writings on PNS are descriptive in the sense that they describe the characteristics of post-normal problems and how the relationship between science and policy changes in the face of such post-normal problems. They are frequently also normative in the sense that they interpret the situations created by post-normal problems and propose how the relationship between science and policy ought to change, above all in the direction of what has been called the democratisation of expertise.

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