Science, Democracy, and Global Environmental Regulation

May 15, 2009, 9:00 am3:00 pm
300 Wallace Hall


Event Description

All Sessions in 300 Wallace Hall

Workshop Participants
Robert Entman (Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University)
John Ferejohn (Political Science, Stanford) 
Dale Jamieson (Environmental Studies and Philosophy, NYU)
Simon Levin (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB), Princeton)
Arthur Lupia (Political Science, Michigan); 
Ronald B. Mitchell (Political Science, Oregon) 
Stephen Pacala (EEB, Princeton)
David Schlosberg (Environmental Studies, Northern Arizona, visiting Princeton)
Robert Socolow (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton)
Richard Stewart (Law, NYU)
Alexander Todorov (Psychology and WWS, Princeton) 
Elke U. Weber (Psychology and Business, Columbia)

Workshop Schedule:

Session 1 (9:00-10:30). Information, the Media, and Public Decision-Making.
How do publics process information about complex public decisions? What role does the media play? What “communicative engineering principles” (Lupia) could be defended on the basis of scientific analysis? What distinctive processes operate when fear is part of the motivation for action? Discussion Leaders: Entman, Lupia, Weber. Chair: Keohane.

Session 2 (10:45-12:15). Science and Democratic Decision-Making
What role does science play in democratic decision-making on issues involving scientific questions, such as climate change, that also implicate ethical and distributional questions? Under what conditions could what Ferejohn calls “modularity” enable decisions to be made by democracies on issues involving science, despite the generally understood impossibility of neatly separating scientific issues from issues of values? Discussion leaders: Ferejohn, Jamieson, Mitchell. Chair: Macedo.

Session 3 (1:15-2:45). Scientific Elites and Publics in Decision-Making.
Is what Schlosberg calls the “coproduction of knowledge” by scientists and publics desirable; and if so, does the example provide a model for how it could improve the legitimacy and quality of public decisions on science? Do models of leader-follower relationships with respect to consensus formation illuminate this issue? Or if an ecological crisis seems imminent and a democratic policy is unable or unwilling to respond, would it be legitimate for a scientifically sophisticated political elite legitimately temporarily to bypass or override democratic procedures? Discussion leaders: Levin, Schlosberg, Socolow. Chair: Moravcsik