Here be monsters

This book contributes to the study of science and politics by shedding light on sometimes dark, hidden or ignored aspects of openness as a core policy agenda. While opening up of science to public scrutiny and public deliberation is good in principle, various dilemmas and problems are entailed by this move, which also should be made public and be discussed more openly. Developed as a solution to perceived crises in science/society relations, openness and transparency initiatives might hide ‘monsters’ that need to be made visible and need to be examined. Chapters in this book deal with four themes: transparency in the context of science in the public sphere; responsibility in the context of in contemporary research practice and governance, both globally and locally; experts in the context of policy-making, risk assessment and the regulation of science; and faith in the context of tensions and misunderstandings between science and religion. Each section of the book contains an opening essay by experts on a particular theme (Mark Brown, Benjamin Worthy, Barbara Prainsack/Sabina Leonelli, Chris Toumey). The book closes with an epilogue by Stephen Turner and an essay by John Holmwood. At present, openness in science is more important than ever. This book should be of interest to academics and members of the public who want to know more about the challenges and opportunities of 'making science public' - the theme of a Leverhulme Trust funded research programme on which this book is based.

Experts and the development of the British Caribbean, 1940–62

This book produces a major rethinking of the history of development after 1940 through an exploration of Britain’s ambitions for industrialisation in its Caribbean colonies. Industrial development is a neglected topic in histories of the British Colonial Empire, and we know very little of plans for Britain’s Caribbean colonies in general in the late colonial period, despite the role played by riots in the region in prompting an increase in development spending. This account shows the importance of knowledge and expertise in the promotion of a model of Caribbean development that is best described as liberal rather than state-centred and authoritarian. It explores how the post-war period saw an attempt by the Colonial Office to revive Caribbean economies by transforming cane sugar from a low-value foodstuff into a lucrative starting compound for making fuels, plastics and medical products. In addition, it shows that as Caribbean territories moved towards independence and America sought to shape the future of the region, scientific and economic advice became a key strategy for the maintenance of British control of the West Indian colonies. Britain needed to counter attempts by American-backed experts to promote a very different approach to industrial development after 1945 informed by the priorities of US foreign policy.

nature and society by the state in the name of development was not a feature of British economic diversification plans for the British Caribbean. In this case, the links between scientific research and economic activity were loosely coordinated. It was a form of development where the initiative in establishing new industry ultimately lay with businessmen who would make judgements about compounds offered up by science. While representing a more liberal version of development than the large-scale agricultural projects in Britain’s African colonies

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15 Re-examining ‘creationist’ monsters in the uncharted waters of social studies of science and religion Fern Elsdon-Baker The subject of a clash between scientific and religious world views is often repeated as a very real ‘fact’ in scholarly, policy and public discourse – with creationists being painted as the ultimate unenlightened monsters that threaten scientific, and by extension societal, progress. There is, so we are told, a real and inevitable clash between world views – one that within extreme iterations can only be negotiated by an outright rejection

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The role of minority engagement

13 ‘Science Matters’ and the public interest: the role of minority engagement Sujatha Raman, Pru Hobson-West, Mimi E. Lam, Kate Millar Much has been written about how the public are imagined and constituted in recent science–society developments. In this chapter we explore the relatively neglected but related question of how the relationship between science and the public interest is constituted. The question is timely in the wake of Britain’s exit from the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as US president. Both have raised significant concerns

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chapter5 28/1/05 1:31 pm Page 102 5 Science and nature Introduction: pure and applied science Having dealt with the issue of the language of science, one must return to the dilemma pointed up earlier by Ned Thomas’s reading of ‘Homo Sapiens 1941’: how does one begin to reconcile R. S. Thomas’s apparently simultaneous condemnation and admiration for the objects and ideas which underlie that language? As I have already suggested, Thomas seems to move gradually from a preoccupation with the language of science for the purposes of art into a moral philosopher

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Religious influences on the depictions of science in mainstream movies

16 Playing God: religious influences on the depictions of science in mainstream movies David A. Kirby, Amy C. Chambers Research on public attitudes towards science has revealed that individuals’ personal values and belief system are crucial factors in determining how they respond to new developments in science, technology and medicine, such as nanotechnology (Brossard et al., 2009; Nisbet and Scheufele, 2009; Scheufele et al., 2009; Toumey, 2011). Few cultural institutions have more influence on personal values and belief systems than religion, and few cultural

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Publics, hybrids, transparency, monsters and the changing landscape around science

Epilogue: publics, hybrids, transparency, monsters and the changing landscape around science Stephen Turner Science, science journalism and the academic study of science itself are grappling with rapid changes in the nature of their object in the three disciplines of science and technology studies, philosophy of science, and history of science. Science is no longer the familiar world of laboratories and chalkboards full of equations, with the public at a discreet remove, buffered by a set of benign images of unworldly scientists pursuing arcane interests. These

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A social representation of scientific expertise

presidential candidate and his traveling slideshow triggered a seismic shift in public understanding of climate change’ (Armstrong et al., 2016). It is likely that AIT has contributed as much as anything or anyone to making climate-change expertise public. In particular, it brought climate-science expertise, which had steadily accumulated in the preceding decades, into the public realm in a new way: combining scientific data with personal stories and calls for political action. In combining these elements, AIT made climate change public by offering a particular social

in Science and the politics of openness
UK and Swiss initiatives to open up animal laboratory research

3 Assuaging fears of monstrousness: UK and Swiss initiatives to open up animal laboratory research Carmen M. McLeod Suspicion always attaches to mystery. … The best project prepared in darkness, would excite more alarm than the worst, undertaken under the auspices of publicity. (Bentham, 1999 [1791]: 30) The relationship between animal laboratory research science (AR) and society has a particularly complex, contested and troubled history and is associated with secrecy and obfuscation. Various works in the literature show societal fears that scientific

in Science and the politics of openness