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Expertise at stake: technoscience and public participation in the post-truth age


STS-Italia, the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies and the Department of Political Sciences of the University of Pisa organize the 5th Summer School Expertise at stake: technoscience and public participation in the post-truth age

Science, technology and related expertise have taken an increasingly prominent role in society. Public unease with and controversy over the way science and technology progress and expertise is applied to address societal needs, expectations and demands have however grown proportionally. Institutions such as the European Union have recognised this as a major question, leading to what has been sometimes depicted as a crisis of trust in science and, more recently, a crisis of rationality in addressing public issues. A number of theoretical frameworks and approaches have been developed along the years. Though these may differ considerably as to how the origin of the problem is diagnosed and the answer is conceived, there is a widespread agreement that any simplistic view of the interface between science and society is to be abandoned, and that more inclusive approaches have to be worked out. As a result, there has been a vast increase in awareness, conceptual frameworks, tools and skills in communicating science, gauging public responses and involving people in science-related policy-making. Yet, public issues (re)emerge continually as science, innovation and industrial policies proceed, challenging the capacity to fruitfully apply scientific expertise in a socially unsettled context.

Description of activities

Activities will be articulated in morning and afternoon sessions. The morning sessions will be devoted to keynote speeches and discussion. The afternoon sessions will develop the topics addressed in group work coordinated by the teachers with the help of tutors. The ECTS credits that will be allocated to the successful participants are 3, conditional to the completion of a group work assigned during the school. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

Benefits from attending

Students will gain insights and suggestions on how to develop STS sensibility in relation to the study of technoscientific controversies, participation and communication, by attending lectures and practising concepts, theories and empirical methods in group discussions and workshops. Moreover, the school is intended to act as an intellectually and socially stimulating environment. Drawing upon prior experience, the school is organized to foster informal learning opportunities, sharing ideas, and developing networks among participants.


The summer school aims at providing an updated outline of this problematic, with a focus on frameworks, approaches, methodologies and experiences.

The main themes that will be addressed are:

* Science-society interface approaches from public understanding of science to post-truth

* Participatory innovation, with special reference to Responsible Research and Innovation

* Investigating and communicating environmental risks

* Public health and trust

* Mapping techno-scientific controversies

* Expertise and public deliberation

The Summer School will offer PhD students and early career researchers the opportunity to interact with international scholars with a transdisciplinary background in social studies of science and technology and specific expertise in the topics above.

Who can apply

Postgraduate and PhD students and early career researchers.



Program Intensity

Full time

Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold a BSc, MSc or PhD in social and political sciences or any field relevant to Science and Technology studies. Candidates will be selected on the base of their CV and research interests, maintaining a balanced participation in terms of gender and nationality of candidates. The organizers reserve the right to cancel the summer school if fewer than 20 students are enrolled. A maximum number of 30 students will be admitted to the school.

Required documents

• Identity Document (*PASSPORT in case you are a foreign student*)

Enrolment Form (the Enrolment Form is available HERE. You are due to fill in the form and SIGN IT TWICE in both areas marked “Sign here”, as it is stated in the document; you will upload it on the portal when required)

• Curriculum Vitae

•Evidence of B2 (or higher) level of English is highly recommended.


Statement of purposes (maximum 500 words) is mandatory only for scholarship applications. The statement of purposes for applications must be sent to Professor Luigi Pellizzoni, Coordinator of the School Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.




250 Euro

The fee includes:

* access to all lectures and workshops

* coffee breaks

* a social dinner

Accommodation is not included in the fee. Some information about budget accommodation can be found at: An additional possibility is the following: 

Before paying the fees, your application has to be officially approved.

Bank transfer to the following account:

Università di Pisa

Dipartimento di Scienze politiche

Banca di Pisa e Fornacette- Credito Cooperativo S.c.p.A.

IBAN: IT73N0856270910000011156627


Two scholarships (covering the participation fee) will be available for talented students. Scholarship applicants must send a Statement of Purposes (max 500 words) enclosed in their application. The Statement should explain why attending this summer school would be important for their academic studies or career, outlining also the reasons why they need a scholarship. Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of documented academic performance, personal achievements and financial needs.


01-05 July 2019


April 10, 2019: Applications deadline.

April 19th, 2019: Confirmation of the school, notification for participation and for scholarship eligibility.

May 11th, 2019: Registration deadline.


Prof. Luigi Pellizzoni

email: Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.



Please, contact the University of Pisa, Department of Political Sciences, dr. Nicla Candelli (Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.), for information about fees, applications, and other administrative details of your participation, and prof. Luigi Pellizzoni (Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.) for questions about the scholarships and school program.


Further info

Direzione Ricerca e Internazionalizzazione
Unità Cooperazione Internazionale
Lungarno Pacinotti, 44 56126 Pisa

Ultima modifica: Mer 24 Apr 2019 - 10:44

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