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Brian Wynne

by Redazione FGB [1], 29 January 2008

Brian Wynne is professor of science studies and Associate Director of the ESRC-funded Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, at Lancaster University. With a first-class degree and PhD in materials science from Cambridge University and a later M.Phil in sociology of science from Edinburgh University, he has researched and published on sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) in public arenas such as technology, environment and risk, since the 1980s, and increasingly in the biosciences since the early 1990s. Around the same period Brian developed the critique of the ‘public deficit model' explanation of public refusals of new technologies like nuclear energy and biotechnology, and has been extensively involved in public policy engagement of Science and Technology Studies in domains of risk, technology, public controversy and innovation.

Brian was a Visiting Scientist at the EU Joint Research Centre at Ispra in 1981, and visited for research collaboration there on many occasions since then. He was an inaugural member (1994-2000) of the Management Board and Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency, Special Adviser to the UK House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry and report on Science and Society, (March 2000), and recently chaired an STS expert working group report (Jan 2007) for the European Commission, D-G Research, Science and Governance: Taking European Knowledge Society Seriously. More recently his work and publication has moved emphasis more towards how versions of ‘the public' are imagined, and performed, in public domains relating to science and technology, including participation. Over the last 5 years Brian has also worked in collaboration with the London think-tank Demos on science and society issues, and has been involved with them in the publication of several Demos pamphlets on science and society.

Some relevant recent publications:

"Public Engagement as Means of Restoring Trust in Science? Hitting the Notes, but Missing the Music", Community Genetics, vol.9(5), 2006, 211-220.
"Nanotechnology, Governance and Public Deliberations: what role for social sciences?", Science Communication, vol.27(2), 2005, 1-26 (co-authored)
"Afterword", in Governing at the Nanoscale, P. Macnaghten, M.Kearnes, J.Wilsdon, (London, Demos) 2006
"Risky Delusions: Misunderstanding Science and Misperforming Publics in the GE Crops Issue", in Iain Taylor, ed., Genetic Engineering: Decision-Making Under Uncertainty, Haworth Press, 2007, Chapter 18
"Elephants in the Rooms Where Publics Encounter ‘Science'? : A Response to Darrin Durant, "Accounting for Expertise: Wynne and the Autonomy of the Lay Public", Public Understanding of Science, vol. 17(1), 2008, 21-33
"Public Participation in Science and Technology: Performing and Obscuring a Political-Conceptual Category Mistake", East Asian International STS Journal, vol. 1(1), Jan 2008, 1-13

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