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Representing Uncertainty in Global Climate Change Science and Policy: Boundary-Ordering Devices and Authority.

Shackley, Simon and Wynne, Brian (1996) Representing Uncertainty in Global Climate Change Science and Policy: Boundary-Ordering Devices and Authority. Science, Technology and Human Values, 21 (3). pp. 275-302. ISSN 1552-8251

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Abstract

This article argues that, in public and policy contexts, the ways in which many scientists talk about uncertainty in simulations of future climate change not only facilitates communications and cooperation between scientific and policy communities but also affects the perceived authority of science. Uncertainty tends to challenge the authority of chmate science, especially if it is used for policy making, but the relationship between authority and uncertainty is not simply an inverse one. In policy contexts, many scientists are compelled to talk about uncertainty but do not wish to imply that uncertainty is a serious challenge to the authority of scientific knowledge or to its substantial use in policy making. "Boundary-ordering devices, " the contextual discursive attempts to reconcile uncertainty and authority in science, depend critically for their success on their "dual" interpretation: at a general level across a boundary and differently on either side of it. The authors empirically identify a range of such boundary-ordering devices in the climate field.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Science, Technology and Human Values
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 22115
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 17 Feb 2009 16:17
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2013 15:47
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/22115

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