, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 349-354,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 09 Aug 2011

Mark B. Brown, Science in Democracy. Expertise, Institutions, and Representation

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In January 2011, German science policy advisers at federal level, the 2008 appointed German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, produced a cautious but positive review of pre-implantation genetic screening (http://www.leopoldina.org/en/policy-advice/recommendations-and-statements/national-recommendations/praeimplantationsdiagnostik-pid.html - accessed 21 April, 2011). Immediately, the advice was attacked as an example of politics-contaminated, instead of value-free science. But simultaneously, many seasoned science policy advisers came to the rescue and defended an advice that clearly spoke to the present political debate; and thus also addressed normative and pragmatic issues. The response to keep science ‘value-free’ is the typical tradition of science politics under high modernity in a political system of representative democracy. Scientific experts are seen as ‘delegates’ of citizens’ best judgment on the issue; and the delegation occurs under public accountability of elected