From the question of contaminated blood to the ”Mad Cow” crisis, from the asbestos scandal to the controversy over genetically modified produce, numerous crises have affected the relationship society fosters with science and technology.
For the most part, we have not become technophobes. Certain risks are accepted, as the increasing rate of mobile telephone use attests. Others seem to be immediately rejected, which is without a doubt the case with genetically modified crops.
Why does society ignore certain dangers that, according to the experts, have a strong proability of being real? Why does it bluntly refuse others that have an extremely slight chance of coming to bear ?
Following in the footsteps of the sociology of risk, this book poses some essential questions : must we consider the reactions of the public irrational ? How are society’s most cherished opinions spread? Which political strategies can we envision in order to allow a useful confrontation between uninformed depictions of these dangers and risk experts?
Daniel Boy is Director of Research at Cevipof (the Science Po Center of Political Research). Notably, he has published The Biotechnology Debate (with Suzanne de Cheveigné and Jean-Christophe Galloux, Balland, 2002) ; Symposium of Citizens, Instructions for Use (with Dominique Bourg, ECLM, Descartes et Cie, 2005).
CHAPITRE 1 LA RAISON ET L’ÉMOTION OU « LE PUBLIC EST IRRATIONNEL »
La peur des chemins de fer
Le nucléaire : de l’angoisse au débat
Monsanto et la peur de l’inconnu
CHAPITRE 4 LES PEURS SONT-ELLES INSPIRÉES PAR DES VISIONS DU MONDE ?
Risque et culture : le regard de l’ethnologue
Valeurs culturelles et perception du risque
Valeurs sociales, idées politiques et risques
Retour à l’histoire : le risque et l’idée de progrès