Conference Agenda

RN12_06b: Science, Technology, and the Environment
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Sophie Némoz, University of Bourgogne / Franche-Comté
Location: BS.3.22
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Boundary Relations in the Field of Technology Development

Henriette Rutjes, Martin David, Alena Bleicher

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany

Resource extraction is often criticized for its negative impacts on the environment. This critique caused manifold research initiatives that aim on developing environmental friendly technologies for the exploitation of raw materials. This presentation will focus on the role of environmental administrations which have a much stonger influence on technology development in this field than previously thought.

Therein we will zoom in on collaborative knowledge production that happens due to the legally required interaction of science and regional environmental agencies. In order to analyze this forced interplay, we rely on the concept of communities of practice (Wenger 1998) and understand collaborative knowledge production as a result of a negotiation between the participants of the two social practices. When they intertwine, their boundary relation is negotiated on the basis of the following dimensions: a joint enterprise (e.g. development of environmental friendly technologies), that enables mutual engagement of individuals (e.g. participation in meetings) and the development of a shared repertoire of shared understandings, artefacts, or concepts (e.g. the definition of recycling).

Based on the analyses of two case studies of mining technology development in Germany we will show that negotiations between administrative and scientific practices in the context of mining technology development can establish a joint enterprise (e.g. securing the supply of raw material by recycling technology) and that they both benefit from it. Or, the negotiation results in retaining their respective enterprise (technology development in the scientific practice and remediation in the administrative practice) which leads to a less collaborative interplay. The effects this has on technology development will be shown in the presentation.

The Dramaturgy of Experts in Brazilian Regulatory Science: the Case of the National Technical Biosafety Commission

Julia Silvia Guivant1, Paulo Fonseca2

1federal university of santa catarina, Brazil; 2Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia

Based on a study on the National Technical Commission on Biotechnology (CTNBio), which focuses on the regulatory genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Brazil, we present an analysis of how regulatory science is staged. We follow the interactionist approach of Goffman, as Hilgartner (2000) has applied it for the analysis of the struggles over the credibility of science advice. Our research is based on an ethnography of the meetings of CTNBio and interviews between 2015-2016. We consider CTNBio as a theater where the different experts carry out performances on stage, with an audience, and behind the scenes and, also, we analyse the conflicts related to the roles represented. Through such strategies it is possible to understand the process of consolidation/legitimation of the commission as the decision-making body on GMOs in Brazil. The stabilization of CTNBio is associated with a stage management of conflicts behind the scenes and the presentation of decision making as lacking any political interference or personal interests.

Moving Towards Environmentally Responsible Society: Risk Perception and Social Acceptability of Energy Technologies in Lithuania

Agnė Budžytė

Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania

Intensive implementation of multiple political tools towards environmental protection, led to increased usage of renewable energy sources. These changes had a positive effect on the aims to reduce GHGS and CO2 emissions in the EU (Eurostat, 2018). However, energy industries remain the main pollutants in the area and still have a huge impact on the environment. This leads to energy technologies being discussed as technogenic threats with catastrophic potential. To prevent serious consequences in the very near future, the need for ecological enlightenment emerged, which according to Beck would create an environmentally responsible society (1995,1999). To achieve this, upgrades to energy infrastructure are not enough, public perception of risk is also required. Unperceived risks could create distortions in social acceptability of energy technologies and change the priorities for the energy sector. Lithuania’s National Energy Strategy aims to generate 80% of the country’s energy from renewable energy sources till the year 2050 which shows environmentally responsible attitude from institutions. It is necessary to evaluate the public risk perception and identify the most acceptable energy technologies among the public of Lithuania to understand if National Energy Strategy and public opinion on energy technologies overlaps, what are the main concerns for energy production which need to be solved to accelerate development of environmentally responsible society. Analysis data based on public survey conducted in October – November of 2018 in Lithuania.

This presentation is based on a research project Public Perceptions of Climate Change: Lithuanian case in a European Comparative Perspective, funded by a grant (No. S-MIP‐17-126) from the Research Council of Lithuania.

How Does The Nuclear Phase-Out Influence Nuclear Host Municipalities?

Yoichi Yuasa

Kanto-Gakuin University, Japan

How will the nuclear phase-out impact on nuclear host municipalities? Nuclear host municipalities are peripheralised and become to be dependent on many benefits from the location of nuclear facilities. Those municipalities are likely to oppose nuclear phase-out due to a concern of losing their benefits.

After the Fukushima disaster, nuclear phase-out is being focused on. In this context, asking a question of what nuclear phase-out causes to nuclear host municipalities is important.

Our hypothesis is that ways of dependence on nuclear facilities and impacts by nuclear phase-out have a close relationship with the process of social peripheralisation by the location of nuclear facilities. We should note that these factors and relationships vary from country to country that has different social institutions.

In Japanese cases, benefits to local public finance are essential. As a characteristic of the local public financial institution in Japan, municipalities may go into bankruptcy. This possibility is relatively high to geographically remote, politically powerless and economically weak municipalities. This is why some rural municipalities have accepted nuclear facilities. This unique institution of local public finance is an important key for peripheralisation process by the location of nuclear facilities.

In fact, nuclear host municipalities are rich. Officials in these municipalities concern about financial and economic damage by nuclear phase-out. Taking some cases of nuclear host municipality in Japan, we will examine its current dependent situation and what can happen to them by nuclear phase-out.