Utrecht University is truly honoured that Prof Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School, will be delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Pathways to Sustainability conference on 24 January. Sheila Jasanoff has been one of the leading intellectuals of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) movement over the last thirty years, an intellectual approach very relevant for us as community of scholars in sustainability sciences. By way of introduction, Prof Maarten Hajer, Scientific Director of Pathways to Sustainability, corresponded with Prof Jasanoff while she was travelling, resulting in the following interview based on written questions and answers.
In your much praised ‘States of Knowledge’ (2004) you argue that science and society are ‘co-produced’. What is the implication of that insight?
“Most fundamentally, the idiom of co-production invites us to become aware that characterizations of the world, long considered the domain of objective science, are not purely a matter of accurate and truthful description, but also about the ways in which we wish to live in the worlds that our science discovers and describes. This is perhaps most obvious in the case of the environmental sciences.