1st Edition

Science and Democracy
Making Knowledge and Making Power in the Biosciences and Beyond

ISBN 9780415821346
Published September 9, 2015 by Routledge
266 Pages

USD $170.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In the life sciences and beyond, new developments in science and technology and the creation of new social orders go hand in hand. In short, science and society are simultaneously and reciprocally coproduced and changed. Scientific research not only produces new knowledge and technological systems but also constitutes new forms of expertise and contributes to the emergence of new modes of living and new forms of exchange. These dynamic processes are tightly connected to significant redistributions of wealth and power, and they sometimes threaten and sometimes enhance democracy. Understanding these phenomena poses important intellectual and normative challenges: neither traditional social sciences nor prevailing modes of democratic governance have fully grappled with the deep and growing significance of knowledge-making in twenty-first century politics and markets.

Building on new work in science and technology studies (STS), this book advances the systematic analysis of the coproduction of knowledge and power in contemporary societies. Using case studies in the new life sciences, supplemented with cases on informatics and other topics such as climate science, this book presents a theoretical framing of coproduction processes while also providing detailed empirical analyses and nuanced comparative work.

Science and Democracy: Knowledge as Wealth and Power in the Biosciences and Beyond will be interesting for students of sociology, science & technology studies, history of science, genetics, political science, and public administration.

Table of Contents

Introduction  2. Biology Denatured: The public-private lives of lively things  3. Imagining the Unimaginable: Making a synthetic biology revolution plausible  4. Courting Innovation: The constitution(s) of Indian biomedicine  5. Co-Producing Knowledge and Political Legitimacy: Comparing life form patent controversies in Europe and the United States  6. Dispute Settlement and Legitimacy of the World Trade Organization: Adjudicating knowledge claims in the Brazil – USA cotton case  7. Co-Production and Democratizing Global Environmental Expertise: The IPPC and adaptation to climate change  8. Governing Emerging Technologies – The need to think outside the (black) box  9. To Bind or Not Bind? European Ethics as Soft Law  10. Sociotechnical Imaginaries, Digital Health Information, and the Reimaging of the Citizen-Patients  11. Knowledge and Democracy: The epistemics of self-governance  12. Sense and Sensibility: Science, society, and politics as co-production

View More



Stephen Hilgartner is Professor of Science and Technology Studies in the Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University. His research examines the social dimensions and politics of contemporary and emerging science and technology, an area he has explored through research on science advice, on risk, and on genomics. His book Science on Stage: Expert Advice as Public Drama—which examines how the authority of scientific advisory bodies is produced, contested, and maintained—won the Carson Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science in 2002. Earlier work has examined the popularization of science and the rise and fall of collective definitions of social problems. Recent publications include "Constituting Large-Scale Biology: Building a Regime of Governance in the Early Years of the Human Genome Project" (BioSocieties, 2013), "Selective Flows of Knowledge in Technoscientific Interaction: Information Control in Genome Research" (British Journal for the History of Science, 2012), "Staging High-Visibility Science: Media Orientation in Genome Research" (Yearbook in Sociology of the Sciences, 2011), "Intellectual Property and the Politics of Emerging Technology" (Chicago-Kent Law Review, 2010), and a special issue of Science & Public Policy (October 2008) on anticipatory knowledge and the state.

Clark A. Miller is Associate Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes and Chair of the PhD in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology at Arizona State University. His research focuses on science and technology policy, with an emphasis on the politics of transformation in global systems and global governance. Over the past decade, he has written extensively about the confluence of knowledge, expertise, and democracy, including his book Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance