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Le tecnologie della hybris

L’esperta americana di politiche pubbliche della scienza Sheila Jasanoff propone una specifica articolazione delle questioni politiche sollevate dall’esistenza di grandi narrazioni, in un lavoro sulle cosiddette ‘tecnologie dell’umiltà’ (Jasanoff 2003). Con questo termine, l’Autrice si riferisce alla necessità di sviluppare delle nuove tecnologie sociali per aprire la scatola nera delle assunzioni teoriche, gli immaginari e le narrazioni, che fondano i metodi predittivi, analitici e quantitativi della scienza dell’innovazione, concepiti per mantenere l’incertezza sotto controllo per rassicurare i cittadini rispetto alla capacità di prevedere e risolvere i problemi che crea. Tali modelli, quali la gestione dei rischi o risk management, l’analisi costi-benefici e le simulazioni di sistemi, sono definiti come ‘tecnologie della hybris (dal greco “arroganza”) per tre ordini di motivi.

Primo, sono incentrati sul noto alle spese dell’ignoto, ovvero sui rischi a breve termine, gestibili quantitativamente, rispetto alle conseguenze a lungo termine, per lo più ignote – i cosiddetti unknown unknowns (European Environmental Agency 2001). Questa enfasi sul noto è basata su una narrazione del controllo, nella quale si associa il grado di specializzazione e la potenza di calcolo con l’accuratezza e la completezza dell’analisi.

Secondo, il linguaggio specialistico e la conoscenza utilizzati per elaborare e per utilizzare queste tecnologie nell’ambito della politica tendono ad ostacolare una discussione aperta con tutti i legittimi portatori di interesse. Più specificamente, le assunzioni normative di tali modelli analitici non sono soggette a pubblico dibattito e l’ideale moderno secondo il quale la scienza produce un tipo di conoscenza oggettiva, dunque non discutibile in sede politica, è utilizzato come strumento per oscurare il lavoro definitorio che è necessario per concepirli. Qui, di nuovo, la grande narrazione della moderna conoscenza scientifica come lente privilegiata e neutrale per rappresentare e gestire la realtà che ci circonda gioca un ruolo fondamentale nel celare l’esercizio di giudizio e di potere implicato nella costruzione dei modelli.

Terzo, la capacità di tali tecnologie di assorbire le sfide che esulano dalle loro assunzioni definitorie è limitata, come nel caso delle valutazioni di tossicità chimica, le quali continuano ad essere basate sull’ipotesi manifestamente falsa che le persone sono esposte ad una sostanza chimica alla volta (Jasanoff 2003).

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

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