Science in Turbulent Times: Expertise, Influence, and the Politics of Knowledge in the New Public Sphere

Juan Pablo Pardo Guerra, University of California, San Diego

Science in Turbulent Times explores the trials of scientific institutions in modern times. Confronting fundamental shifts in how information is disseminated and the alignments between political and scientific elites, science today faces stiff competition from other forms of knowledge better suited to exploit the attention economies of the new, platformized public sphere. This has important consequences, including the greater erosion of expertise in public discussions around critical topics. Examining recent controversies around Mexican science as an ideal case, this book shows how structural changes to the public sphere and the organization of political elites can contribute to the quick loss of legitimacy in, and institutional support towards, scientific institutions. Exploring several cases of science-based public, economic, and health policies in Mexico, the book shows how these structural changes to how we produce and communicate knowledge and information threaten our capacity to find collective solutions for humanity’s most pressing problems by reducing the efficacy of scientific institutions to perform one of their most critical functions: coordinate the distributed production of new forms of knowledge.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 203. Envisioning Knowledge: Aesthetics, Science, and Publics