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Sep 20, 2017 Commentary
The changing face of expertise and the need for knowledge transfer

by Aleksandra Berditchevskaia, Cindy Regalado and Stephan Van Duin

New public participatory modes of practice are emerging in fields as diverse as politics, healthcare and research. In part, these DIY and citizen-led initiatives have gained momentum from the optimism of new technologies, which allow unprecedented access to previously inaccessible knowledge and tools. Equally, they are the result of a growing frustration with power hierarchies and systems that reinforce elites. Experts are increasingly regarded with suspicion as trust in public institutions is eroded and individuals begin to give more weight to personal accounts, and information shared within networks of peers. In this climate there is a critical need for improved knowledge transfer practices based on improved empathy, understanding and communication of shared values and motivations. In this session we questioned the role of expertise in a changing landscape of knowledge production and practice. Using the lens of science & technology communication and hands-on DIY practices, we explored how to move towards a more inclusive model of knowledge transfer, where different types of expertise are acknowledged and valued.

Volume 16 • Issue 04 • 2017