30 Giugno 2022 at 11:59
Thanks to Dr. Bertioli, a Canadiam plant geneticist who works on the creation/breeding of improved cultivars. Since he is involved in regulatory matters regarding agri-food biotechnologies, I would appreciate a further comment from him: does he think that a renewed institutional framework of the kind I have outlined would help legislation and governmental action to be better science-informed? (By the way, it is worth noting that Canada is one of the few – if not the only – jurisdiction in the world in which agri-food regulation follows some basic scientific principles.)
See in context
23 Giugno 2022 at 00:44
Science, or as it used to be called, Natural Philosophy, has become divorced from Philosophy. The result is that modern Science, although incredibly powerful in discovering details of the natural world, is woefully inept in whole philosophical fields, such as ethics and political philosophy.
What a delight to see this book from Prof. Giovanni Tagliabue! It lays out so much, so clearly, and makes thought-provoking proposals to overcome the limitations of our current political systems.
4 Maggio 2022 at 10:08
Thanks for the comment to Professor Vibert, who is an expert in the field of unelected policymakers i.e. non-majoritarian institutions such as independent authorities.
3 Maggio 2022 at 15:26
Trovo questa risposta molto convincente, in particolare quando sottolinea che il mutuo appoggio può operare al meglio, perfino in un ambiente anche amministrativamente appiattito sui collettivi di pensiero, se l’accesso ai risultati scientifici è totalmente aperto. Anche per questo le riviste ibride, le quali smerciano l’accesso aperto a chi può permettersi, istituzionalmente o individualmente, di pagare, non sono, rispetto all’accesso chiuso, una riduzione del danno, ma un danno tout court, perché frazionano – e frazionano secondo censo – l’agorà nella quale il parresiasta, inizialmente isolato, può trovare la sua forza.
2 Maggio 2022 at 17:30
From Frank Vibert, associate. CARR/LSE.
‘In recent times democracies have followed a ‘ dual processing’ approach to policy making relying not only on elected assemblies and governments but increasingly on expert bodies. One important question is about the relationship between the two forms of policy making. Procedures to bring the two together range from the greater use of citizen consultations by regulators to the use of Independent Fiscal Institutions by parliaments. The author argues in favour of the greater use of the technique of direct democracy and, much more radically, in favour of setting up elected bodies of experts to co-legislate alongside traditional representative bodies. It is a well argued contribution to an important debate .
22 Marzo 2022 at 16:56
Professor French’s comment is particularly valuable, owing to his dual experience as an academic and an elected official (former Member of the National Assembly as well as Minister of Communications in Quebec), therefore being well placed to make observations on my hypothesis of “professors on politics”, to paraphrase the title of an interesting article by Professor French himself (see in the References). His kindly expressed scepticism is welcome.
But a basic misunderstanding regarding my imagined institutional framework must be corrected: in my view, academics who stand to be elected in the National Scientific Assembly (or similar bodies at more restricted geographical levels) are NOT elected “by their peers”, but by the general electorate (universal suffrage) – as traditional party politicians would still be in the parallel legislative chambers and bodies. Otherwise, it would be a half-epistocracy: an arrangement which is actually proposed by other authors; I reject it on the grounds that it would be a betrayal of a basic democratic principle.
Furthermore, I am not so blindly optimistic to believe that elected scientists would be “immune to the many pathologies of democratic representation”; but I argue that they would have incentives and motivations which can be in good part different (aiming more at the common good) from those which guide the dynamics of party politicians. I understand that I should stress this point more in the amended/enriched version of my text, which will follow the collection of reviewers’ comments.
21 Marzo 2022 at 19:13
Giovanni Tagliabue thinks democracy is broken and there is lots of evidence that he has a point. He also thinks that science – or rather, scientists – can fix it without discarding the legitimacy which the popular vote confers. The mechanism is to be a bicameral system, one chamber of which, if I am not mistaken, will look more or less like our current legislatures, and the other of which will be composed of scientists and academics, elected by their peers. Legislation would require reconciliation between the two chambers; if the differences turn out to be insuperable, the people would choose in a referendum.
His exposition of this idea is supported by great erudition and extensive reference to the literature. His argument will be highly controversial, as no one else has ever gone to quite as much effort to document the case as practice, nor has been quite as optimistic about the political culture and role of experts, who are portrayed as more or less immune to the many pathologies of democratic representation. His challenge to the conventional wisdom is extensive and thorough-going. Whether his vision is viable or not, the issues he raises merit our attention and concern, and he is to be congratulated for his dedication to raising them.
University of Ottawa
19 Gennaio 2022 at 01:44
For more on Bailly, I recommend George Armstrong Kelly, Victims, Authority, and Terror, University of North Carolina Press, 1982.
19 Gennaio 2022 at 01:42
An excellent analysis of the history of Kant’s ideas about freedom of the press – and, more importantly, about his use of rhetoric and carefully chosen vocabulary to get his message across despite the censors. We see where he fits in a century of claims about freedom of the press, and what he adds to them.
29 Novembre 2021 at 14:13
Ringrazio il dottor Vincenzo Aglieri per questo commento pertinente e acuto.
Mi scuso per non avere sottolineato abbastanza in questo lavoro il mio intento di postare l’accento dal pluralismo metodologico di Feyerabend, dove ogni modello è accettabile basta che funzioni (quindi una sorta di anarchia metodologica), alla descrizione di una comunità scientifica anarchica, in quanto non democratica (uno scienziato non cerca la maggioranza dei consensi con la sua teoria) e non autoritaria .
La visione di una comunità scientifica composta di scienziati che sono costretti a trovare, e valutare, la teoria migliore è suggestiva. Infatti, il mutuo appoggio può essere visto come solidarietà tra scienziati, ma anche come un processo molto efficace nel metodo scientifico, che permette di verificare nel modo più rapido la validità di una teoria. Ma questo si vede a posteriori: dopo le verifiche della comunità scientifica si affermerà la teoria del parresiasta. Prima e durante la sfida tra parresiasta e autorità, l’influenza del collettivo di pensiero, di cui l’autorità è parte, ostacolerà l’affermarsi della teoria più efficace. Si pensi alle fatiche di Ignaz Semmelweis durante tutta la sua vita.
 F. Scotognella, Scientist As Parrhesiastes, European Scientific Journal, ESJ. 17 (2021) 1–1. https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2021.v17n25p1.