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The Ethos of Post-Normal Science

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Publication date: Available online 29 January 2017

Author(s): Nicolas Kønig, Tom Børsen, Claus Emmeche

The norms and values of Post-Normal Science (PNS) are instrumental in guiding science advice practices. In this article, we report work in progress to systematically investigate the norms and values of PNS through a structured review. An archive of 397 documents was collected, including documents that contribute to the endeavour of ameliorating science advice practices from a PNS perspective. Action and structure-oriented viewpoints are used as complementing perspectives in the analysis of the ethos of PNS. From the action-perspective we study how prototypes of norms and values are reflected upon in negotiations of normative issues relating to science advice. From the structural perspective we study how interrelated prototypes of norms and values are presupposed in prescriptions, proscriptions, and goals for science advice practices. Through this analysis we identify a plurality of interrelated prototypes of norms and values. Finally, we propose an acronym that integrates the analysed plurality of norms and values. As a mnemonic and communicative devise we call this ethos TRUST (Transparency, Robustness, Uncertainty management, Sustainability, and Transdisciplinarity) and propose TRUST as a nexus for future reflective negotiations of ambivalences in post-normal practices of science advice.

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