Science that is appropriate for the post-Covid age – Silvio FUNTOWICZ, University of Bergen (Norway)
Almost forty ago, Silvio Funtowicz and Jerry Ravetz coined the term ‘post-normal’ to refer to scientific activities appropriate for the new tasks of ‘clean-up and survival’. Already then, they focussed on technological, environmental and health risks, stressing their complexity, systemic uncertainty, and socio-political relevance.
This webinar addressed the following question: Covid-19 has generated, in many, a nostalgic desire to return to the previous normality, but even if we could, should we?
Silvio Funtowicz suggests that we should not forget the pre-pandemic challenges facing humanity, from sustainability to climate and ecosystems disruptions, biodiversity loss, growing socioeconomic inequalities and political instabilities. All of these can also be usefully described as post-normal. There is no blueprint for a sustainable post-pandemic world, change is never painless, and success is not certain. Because the future is not predetermined, we can show that we can learn from history, and act with integrity.