Science and Technology in World Agriculture: Narratives and Discourses

34 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2010

Date Written: November 8, 2010


The narratives characterizing the current debate on world agricultural research tend to be part of a discourse that rationalizes past experience and future tendencies along the lines of extreme recounts of successes and failures. Stories of agricultural development and of accomplishments of research and science in agriculture tend to be organized according with either a conservative or a radical paradigm, which are in sharp contrast with each other and are at the origin of basic disagreements and biased information. For the neutral observer these contrasting views, to the extent that they seem to concern facts more than opinions, cause disorientation and stress in the form of the well known phenomenon of cognitive dissonance. Among the international institutions, the World Bank appears to have taken on the responsibility of attenuating such a phenomenon by providing, through its own narratives, stylized truths and balanced interpretations.

Keywords: agriculture, research, narratives, discourse, cognitive dissonance, biotechnology, global public goods

Suggested Citation

Scandizzo, Pasquale Lucio, Science and Technology in World Agriculture: Narratives and Discourses (November 8, 2010). CEIS Working Paper No. 172. Available at SSRN: or

Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo (Contact Author)

University of Rome ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome, I-00133
+3906/72595929 (Phone)
+3906/2040219 (Fax)

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