Time, science and consensus: the different times involving scientific research, political decision and public opinion

José Aparecido de Oliveira Isaac Epstein About the authors

This essay analyses the asymmetrical relationship between the time of scientific research and the time of the different segments interested in its results, especially with the increasing need to establish technical consensus about fields of science that require rigorous investigations and tests. In recent years, civil society sectors - mainly scientific journalism, the legislative power, and public opinion - have been showing growing interest in participating in the decision-making process that guides science routes. In this study, we analyzed the decision-making process of the Biosecurity Bill, which allows research with embryonic stem cells in Brazil. The results allow us to conclude that this asymmetrical relationship between the different times (of science, of scientific dissemination, public opinion, and public power) contributes to the maturing of the dialogue about scientific policies, as well as to the establishment of a consensus concerning science routes, aiming at the democratization of scientific work.

Science; Knowledge; Public opinion; Scientific communication and diffusion


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