Welcome to Score!

Thursday 2 February 2023, 10.00-11.30
Score, Stockholm University, Frescativägen 14 A

Knowing Like a Risk Bureaucracy: A Political History of the Construction of Expertise at the US Environmental Protection Agency

"In the past decades, across western states, new public bureaucracies have been formed in the area of the environment, health and hazard management, with the hope that their use or production of scientific knowledge will greatly improve the protection of the environment and health. The centralization of knowledge in dedicated organizations, the production of more science in articulation with their general goals across the organization, were supposed to both improve the efficiency of health and environmental protection, its rationality and the legitimacy of these policies. This narrative of science-based administration overlooks the fact that there are varying, if not contradictory, visions of what expertise is or should be in our societies. By tracing the evolving ways of analyzing risks and making decisions that the US EPA has applied over the course of its 50 years of existence, one can bring into light these possible visions of expertise, the networks that defend them, and the political circumstances in which they take form, shift and come to dominate in the organization."

The talk will be based on the book The Science of Bureaucracy. Risk Decision-Making and the US EPA, MIT Press, which is available in open access at https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/science-bureaucracy