02 May 2012

New Paper: Energiewende and Nichtwissen

I have a new paper coming out in the journal Nature and Culture titled "Post-Normal Science in a German Landscape." The paper is about energy transitions and ignorance, viewed through the lens of brown coal and new lakes created from open pit mines in eastern Germany, near Leipzig (see video above). The paper was motivated by a workshop held a year ago at the University of Hamburg on the work of Jerry Ravetz and the notion of post-normal science.

Here is the abstract:
Post-Normal Science in a German Landscape

This essay explores the management and creation of ignorance via an exploration of the landscape of eastern Germany, which has seen profound social, political, and technological changes over the past several decades. Like in many places around the world decision makers in eastern Germany are seeking to reach a future state where seemingly conflicting outcomes related to the economy and the environment are simultaneously realized. The management of ignorance is an important but often overlooked consideration in decision making that the concept of “post-normal science” places into our focus of attention.
It is a bit more conceptual and philosophical than much of my normal fare, but still grounded in real-world policy. It was a fun paper to write, and I learned a lot.

It will be online soon, but if you'd like an advance copy, just send me an email rpielkejr@gmail.com