We live in a knowledge society, or so many say, wherein knowledge of every sort makes the world go round. We produce and manage knowledge. We commodify and sell it. We use it to know and to govern ourselves, others and the planet. But what is this thing we call ‘knowledge’? How is it made? How does it work? What’s it worth? When is it new? Or useful for policy? And who says? In a world like ours, animated as it is by knowledge, such questions matter.
Our collaboration – which works at the crossroads of anthropology, science studies and public policy – investigates some of the ways Euro-Americans produce, sanction and use knowledge today. Our particular concern is with scientific knowledge, and the conditions that render it ‘new’ and/or ‘useful’ for decision making and governance. We are exploring these issues through a set of empirical investigations into natural and social scientists’ efforts to produce knowledge about energy and the environment.
Photo credit: Wikimedia