OSI and CEHIC organize a public seminar on Scientific Expertise and Authority

On April 30th, from 10,30h to 13,30h, the Open and Innovation Research Group (IN3/UOC) and the Centre d’Història de la Ciència, CEHIC (UAB), with the support of Obra Social La Caixa, organize a public seminar on “Experts, Expertise and Scientific Authority: Historical and Sociological Approaches”.

The speakers in the seminar will be Wiebe Bijker (Maastricht Universiteit), José Ramon Bertomeu (Universitat de València), Miquel Domènech (UAB), Agustí Nieto-Galan (UAB) and Eduard Aibar (UOC).

This event is open to the public. Please, confirm your attendance sending an email to osi@uoc.edu.

Download Full Programme

 “Experts, expertise and scientific authority: historical and sociological approaches”

Since 2002, when Harry Collins and Robert Evans published a much cited paper presenting three different waves of science studies, the theme of expertise has come to the forefront of much research in science and technology studies (STS). Questions about the use of scientific knowledge for policy making, the role of experts in social controversies, the public legitimation and contestation of scientific expertise or the participation of non-experts or even so-called lay experts in science or technology-based decisions, just to mention a few, have increasingly been addressed by many scholars in this area. Once scientific knowledge is mostly seen as situated, historically contingent and socially shaped, how can we still understand and analyse it as a source of authority and power in the political arena? This seminar aims to present and discuss some recent studies, both historical and sociological, on these issues.


10.30-10.45 Introduction: Agustí Nieto-Galan and Eduard Aibar

10.45-11.00 Wiebe Bijker (Universiteit Maastricht): “The Paradox of Scientific Authority”

11.00-11.15 José Ramon Bertomeu (Universitat de València): “Medicine, Science and the Law: Two Received Views and New Perspectives”

11.15–11.45 Discussion

11.45-12.00 Pause

12.00-12.15 Miquel Domènech (UAB): “The Lay-Expert Relationship in Participatory Processes”

12.15-12.30 Agustí Nieto-Galan (UAB): “Scientific authority in the public sphere”

12.30-12.45 Eduard Aibar (UOC): “Lay Scientific Expertise in Wikipedia”

12.45-13.15 Discussion

 Download Full Programme


Centre for the History of Science
Faculty of Sciences
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
08193, Bellaterra
Barcelona, Spain

Maps and transport: 

IN3 events calendar: web

Prof. Wiebe Bijker will give a lecture on Science, Innovation and Democracy

On April 29th at 12 am, Professor Wiebe Bijker will give a public lecture entitled “Looking beyond Europe: Rethinking Science, Innovation and Democracy”, in room Josep Laporte at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Av. Tibidabo, 30-43, 08035, Barcelona). The lecture is open to the public and will be in English. The event is supported by the Obra Social La Caixa (“International at home” program) and is organized by the research group OSI, Open Science and Innovation (IN3 – UOC).

wiebe-e-bijkerWiebe E. Bijker is professor of Technology & Society at Maastricht. He was trained as an engineer in physics (Delft), studied philosophy (Groningen), and holds a PhD in the sociology and history of technology (Twente). Bijker is Director of Studies of the research master “Cultures of Arts, Science, and Technology” (CAST).

Wiebe Bijker was President of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), and was director and chairman of the board of the Netherlands Research School on Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC) and member of the Executive Council of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). He is founding co-editor of the monograph series “Inside Technology” of MIT Press and the book series “Science and Democracy in South Asia” of Orient Blackswan. Bijker helped to create, and was the first scientific coordinator of, the European master’s degree program on Society, Science and Technology (ESST), carried out by some 18 universities in 10 European countries.
Bijker’s research focuses on the relation between technology, society, and science. Since the 1990’s political and normative issues have been central in Bijker’s research. These are being studied in a variety of empirical domains: nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, ICT, gender and technology, public health policies, science & technology for developing nations, sustainable agriculture, public participation experiments, architecture and planning. His most recent work relates to issues of vulnerability in a technological culture — including the fundamental need for some vulnerability in an innovating society. Bijker chaired various Health Council’s committees on risks and benefits of nanotechnologies and biotechnologies. Much of his current work straddles the global north and south.

For more details: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/Profile/w.bijker.htm

Key information about the event:

April 29th, 12 am

UOC, Open University of Catalonia. 30-43, Tibidabo Avenue. 08035, Barcelona (Spain).

Location in Google Maps: here


Prof. Bijker is founding co-editor of the monograph series “Inside Technology” of MIT Press.

Prof. Bijker visited the IN3 center for an international conference on Vulnerability of Technological Cultures, in 2009. You can see the video here:


The University of Maastricht edited a video interview to Prof. Bijker. Here:


Yochai Benkler presents the Spanish translation of his book «The Wealth of Networks» in Barcelona

This wednesday, February 25th, Yochai Benkler will be presenting the Spanish translation of his book The Wealth of Networks, published by Icaria Editorial: “La riqueza de las redes: Cómo la producción social transforma los mercados y la libertad”.

The IGOPnet has organized a meeting at 18’30h. at the CCCB in which prof. Benkler will deliver the talk “Can we gain an economy, politics and society of the commons?”.  More information here