What Is Post-normal Science? A Personal Encounter

7 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2022

See all articles by Andrea Saltelli

Andrea Saltelli

UPF Barcelona School of Management

Date Written: November 8, 2022


What is post normal science? What are the reasons for and consequences of encountering it in one’s professional life? Here I will share my own experience of readings, practices and discussions with the fathers, supporters and detractors of PNS. Difficult to explain and translate into formulae or checklists, PNS provides its practitioners with useful keys which may open relevant doors, allowing multiple perspectives to be brought to bear while widening the space of possible answers. Seen by some as a solution and by others as a problem, its message has not lost its radical or revolutionary edge. PNS is rigorous in its quest for quality. It is neither value-free nor neutral, it does not shy away from engaging in negative theology (what is not), nor from using irony in the process. Seen in retrospect, PNS has proven capable of prophetic diagnoses of the trajectory of science. While not cynical, its disenchanted and circumspect gaze over the wonders of technology provides a useful antidote to persistently reductionist and techno-optimistic narratives which dominate the policy discourse.

Keywords: Reductionism, techno-optimism, epistemology, quantification

JEL Classification: Z10

Suggested Citation

Saltelli, Andrea, What Is Post-normal Science? A Personal Encounter (November 8, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4271572 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4271572

Andrea Saltelli (Contact Author)

UPF Barcelona School of Management ( email )

Carrer de Balmes
Carrer de Balmes, 132
Barcelona, Barcelona 08008

HOME PAGE: http://www.andreasaltelli.eu

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