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[Xmca-l] Sheila Jasanoff on Civic Epistemology



In the course of reviewing the literature on climate change scepticism, I came across this wonderful writer, Sheila Jasanoff, who, as part of her argument against the idea that scientists' have about "public understanding of science" and if only the people had a better understanding of science, then things would be much better, introduced this idea of "civic epistemologies" which are different from country to country. From Marxist literature I was already aware of some of this, but she makes a detailed study of the differences between Britain, the US and Germany, which are immediately revealing. This caused me to reflect on Australian civic epistemology, and I almost laughed when I then recalled the debate on climate change we have had in Oz, and how it typifies our own civic epistemology. Jasanoff has nothing to do with Vygotsky, but the CHAT critique of cross-cultural psychology, culture-free conceptions of knowledge and the historical formation of knowledge find plenty of resonances within Jasanoff's ideas. I have attached a chapter from one of her more well-known books for the interest of xmca-ers.
Andy
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*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/

Attachment: Jasanoff_Civic_Epistemology.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document