Revista iberoamericana de ciencia tecnología y sociedad
On-line version ISSN 1850-0013
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.