Seminari d’Estudis de Ciència i Tecnologia: Crisis? What crisis?

Crisis? What crisis?

Andrea Saltelli (University of Bergen)

Organitzen: STS-b (UAB), CareNet (UOC) i OSI (UOC)

6 de Març 2018, 12-14h

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Sala Tony Bates)

Av. Tibidabo 39, 08035 Barcelona

Entrada lliure



This presentation will argue that science’s crisis is real. The mainstream interpretation of the root causes of the crisis (perverse incentive, too many papers) is insufficient. The crisis is due to a transformed role: from emancipation and betterment of mankind to instrument of profit and growth. The presentation argues that scientists cannot resolve the problem alone and have high stakes in the preservation of the status quo, and that institutions are in denial pretending that current predicaments of science do not weaken its privileged role in governance. Finally it is suggested that this crisis will be a long one, though elements of a possible Reformation are visible.

Suggested readings:

Saltelli, A., Stark, P., 2018, Fixing statistics is more than a technical issue, Nature, doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-00647-9

Saltelli, A., Science’s credibility crisis: why it will get worse before it can get better, The Conversation, November 9, 2017.

Andrea Saltelli, Silvio Funtowicz, 2017, What is science’s crisis really about? FUTURES, Volume 91, Pages 5-11,

Andrea Saltelli has worked on physical chemistry, environmental sciences, applied statistics, impact assessment and science for policy. His main disciplinary focus is on sensitivity analysis of model output, a discipline where statistical tools are used to interpret the output from mathematical or computational models, and on sensitivity auditing, an extension of sensitivity analysis to the entire evidence-generating process in a policy context. At present he is adjoint professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT) – University of Bergen (UIB). He lives and works in Barcelona and is a visiting fellow at Open Evidence Research, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).