The Technocratic Response: All Power to the Experts

(With the Blessing of Citizens Provided They Are Well-Educated)
  • Massimiano Bucchi
  • Adrian Belton


This first chapter considers a particularly common response to issues and conflicts in technoscience. I refer to the so-called “technocratic response”, which is especially frequent within the scientific community, but not uncommon among policymakers and other authoritative commentators, or in some sectors of public opinion. It bases its proposals for decision making on a specific conception of the relationships among scientific experts, political decision makers, and public opinion.


Public Opinion Public Understanding Advisory Opinion Public Agenda Political Decision Maker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bauer, M., Petkova, K. (2005). Long-term trends in the public representation of science across the ‘iron curtain’: 1946–95. Social Studies of Science, 34, 1–33.Google Scholar
  2. Bucchi, M. (1999). Vino, alghe e mucche pazze: la rappresentazione televisiva delle situazioni di rischio. Roma: Eri/Rai.Google Scholar
  3. Bucchi, M. (2004). Can genetics help us rethink communication? Public communication of science as a ‘double helix’. New Genetics and Society, 23(3), 269–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bucchi, M., Mazzolini, R. G. (2003). Big news, little science: science coverage in the Italian Daily Press, 1946–1997. Public Understanding of Science, 12, 7–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bucchi, M., Neresini, F. (2002). Biotech remains unloved by the more informed. Nature, 416, 261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gregory, J., Miller, S. (1998). Science in Public. Communication, Culture, and Credibility. London: Plenum.Google Scholar
  7. Keller, E. F. (2000). The Century of the Gene. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Lewenstein, B.V. (1992). The Meaning of ‘public understanding of science’ in the United States after world war II. Public Understanding of Science, 1, 45–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Peters, H. P. (2002). Scientists as ‘Public Experts’. Tijdschrift voor Wetenschap, Technologie en Samenleving, 10(2), 39–42.Google Scholar
  10. Sparzani, A. (2003). Relatività. Quante storie. Torino: Boringhieri.Google Scholar
  11. Veronesi, U. (2003). Una camera alta per etica e scienza. Il Corriere della Sera, 19 maggio.Google Scholar
  12. Wynne, B. (1995). Public understanding of science. In Jasanoff, S. et al. (Eds.) Science Technology and Society Handbook (361–389). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipto. Sociologia e Ricerca SocialeUniversita di TrentoTrentoItaly
  2. 2.Società editrice il MulinoBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations