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Revista iberoamericana de ciencia tecnología y sociedad

On-line version ISSN 1850-0013

Abstract

SANNAZZARO, Jorgelina. Public scientific controversies: Citizen participation and the "paper-mills" conflict between Argentina and Uruguay. Rev. iberoam. cienc. tecnol. soc. [online]. 2011, vol.6, n.17, pp. 213-239. ISSN 1850-0013.

This article approaches the conflict Argentina and Uruguay mantain since 2002, due to  the installation of cellulose plants in Uruguayan territory, on the binational waters of the  Uruguay River. This conflict has gained international relevance and has transformed  itself into a true public scientific controversy since 2005. This paper uses this case to analyze citizen participation in environmental conflicts, especially participation in cases  of controversies related to the tension between environmental values and economic or  political priorities. The scientific arguments were used by some of the actors in the  "papermills" conflict as the basis for a political discussion, highlighting the complex  relation between politics and scientific controversies that become public. We maintain  that the case creates a historical precedent of extreme value for the future of citizen  participation in these issues, in that it is an emblematic case of citizens organizing to  inform themselves, act, and constitute themselves as a legitimate player in these  debates.

Keywords : Scientific-technological controversy; Post-normal science; Citizen  participation; Cellulose industry.

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