Pukekaamme keisareille kansalaisen vaatteet: kriittisiä huomioita asiantuntijakäytännöistä koronakriisissä

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikelPeer review


An adequate response to an epidemic requires specialised knowledge. Expertise concerns truth that is perhaps the most general of all political problems. A manifestation of this problem is the fact that expert opinions tend to be divided also within disciplines such as epidemiology. No particular institutions such as the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) can legitimately monopolise the truth. In this paper, I discuss the problem of truth in expert discourses from a critical scientific realist perspective. I start with a paradox: we have a lot of useful information for example about viruses and the diseases they cause, while we know that expert knowledge is uncertain, interpretive and value-laden. In addition, the perceptions of experts may change dramatically in a short period of time, especially when there is uncertainty about what is at stake. A further consideration is that practical actions must necessarily be based on anticipating the future. A net self-fulfilling effect tends to make predictions more accurate, while a self-denying effect always makes the prediction less accurate. The effect – such as a 2nd wave of an epidemic – may be undesirable and therefore inaccuracy a virtue. I argue that science progresses best through an open and critical-reflexive debate among positions. Claims can be assessed also in public civic debates. I show how these simple points can have far-reaching concequences in terms of management of the corona crisis.
Bidragets översatta titelLet's Dress Citizens' Clothes on the Emperor: Critical Notes on Expert Practices in the Corona Crisis
Sidor (från-till)116-127
Antal sidor12
StatusPublicerad - 25 juni 2020
MoE-publikationstypA2 Granska artikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift


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