The 2022 Holberg Lecture: Democracy in an Unknowable World
Science and Technology Studies allows us to rethink the position of the political subject in a mechanized, instrumentalized, yet indeterminate world. Lecture by the 2022 Holberg Prize Laureate, Sheila Jasanoff.
Science and technology are so commonly seen as drivers of progress that their role in forming the horizons of individual and collective self-understanding often passes unnoticed in political theory and practice. STS corrects this imbalance by revealing what we know and how we apply our knowledge to be thoroughly political projects. By unsettling the parameters of social order, science and technology also trouble—and perhaps expand—how we exercise political agency and enact life’s purposes.
This event is a part of the 2022 Holberg Week, which takes place from 7 to 10 June.
Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. A pioneer in her field, she has authored more than 130 articles and chapters and is author or editor of more than 15 books, including The Fifth Branch (1990), Science at the Bar (1995), Designs on Nature (2005), The Ethics of Invention (2016), and Can Science Make Sense of Life? (2019).Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies.
Jasanoff founded and directs the STS Program at Harvard University; previously, she was founding chair of the STS Department at Cornell. She has held distinguished visiting appointments at leading universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US. Jasanoff served on the AAAS Board of Directors and as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her honors include the SSRC’s Hirschman prize, the Humboldt Foundation’s Reimar-Lüst award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ehrenkreuz from the Government of Austria, and foreign memberships in the British Academy and the Royal Danish Academy. She holds AB, JD, and PhD degrees from Harvard, and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Twente and Liège.