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Incertezza e complessità come valori democratici

Una sintesi dello scenario post-normale è fornita da Funtowicz e Ravetz (1993) nel grafico in figura.


Lo schema mette in relazione incertezza e posta in gioco e permette di individuare tre principali situazioni. Il passaggio dall’una all’altra avviene, nello scenario da noi sin qui delineato, all’aumentare della potenza e conseguentemente delle complessità. La scienza applicata è essenzialmente scienza di laboratorio, nella quale si è accumulata molta esperienza e si opera in condizioni di rischio controllato e prevedibile sulla base di una probabilità statistica. È questa la situazione nella quale l’ideale moderno è emerso ed è stato applicato senza difficoltà.

Aumentando la posta in gioco e la scala del sistema, cresce anche l’incertezza e in questo campo gli scienziati svolgono spesso il ruolo di consulenti, con il compito di offrire un parere informato al decisore politico, affinché questi possa assumere le soluzioni più razionali e responsabili sulle questioni controverse. A questa situazione corrisponde il tentativo di estensione del paradigma moderno proposto nel principio di precauzione.

Ampliando ancora la scala, ovvero all’aumentare della potenza, ci si trova a decidere su questioni che per loro natura sono irriducibilmente complesse, ovvero per le quali si entra in una dinamica paradossale nella quale all’aumentare della conoscenza insorgono nuovi livelli di complessità e dunque aumentano contemporaneamente incertezza, indeterminatezza e ignoranza. Prendere atto sino in fondo di questa dinamica implica lo sviluppo di nuovi criteri per produrre conoscenza rilevante nei processi decisionali e per valutarne la qualità (Funtowicz e Ravetz 1990).

A cura di Alice Benessia, Maria Bucci, Simone Contu, Vincenzo Guarnieri.

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