Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Ideas: How to Think About Science #5 - Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour on the Risk Society and the False Dichotomy Between Nature and Culture

How to Think About Science: Episode 5 - Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour

Few people ever apply a name that sticks to an entire social order, but sociologist Ulrich Beck is one of them. In 1986 in Germany he published Risk Society, and the name has become a touchstone in contemporary sociology. Among the attributes of Risk Society is the one he just mentioned: science has become so powerful that it can neither predict nor control its effects. It generates risks too vast to calculate. In the era of nuclear fission, genetic engineering and a changing climate, society itself has become a scientific laboratory. In this episode 5 Ulrich Beck talks about the place of science in a risk society. Later in the hour you'll hear from another equally influential European thinker, Bruno Latour, the author of We Have Never Been Modern. He will argue that our very future depends on overcoming a false dichotomy between nature and culture.

To Listen to the Episode

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