This thesis deals, in a variety of ways, with one overarching analytical question: how to analyze, from a sociological point of view, the importance of scientific knowledge in contemporary disputes on the fate of threatened nature in ‘world risk society’? Immediately, this question conjures a number of issues. On the side of society, it refers to what is by now a taken-for-granted part of Euro-American public knowledge: the world is facing a number of serious global environmental threats, where scientists play pivotal roles in defining the parameters of public and political action. Climate change is simply the latest addition to a long list of potential natural calamities. On the side of sociology, reference is made to what is arguably the most important contribution so far to understanding this global predicament: Ulrich Beck’s well-known Zeitdiagnosis of the world risk society. More than anyone, Beck has been responsible for bringing global environmental concern into the mainstream of sociology, giving rise to important research agendas. This thesis is indebted to his groundbreaking sociological work.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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