Scientific knowledge, public knowledge, and public policy: genred formation and disruption of knowledge for acting about global warming


  • Charles Bazerman University of California Santa Barbara


Genre, Knowledge, Environment, Politics, Government action


Knowledge is produced, stored and accessed in specific genres associated with different activity systems. Coordinated action among diverse groups is facilitated by alignment of knowledge across spheres. Our knowledge of the environment has been created in recent history by the interaction of discourses in military, scientific, public, political, corporate and governmental spheres, although these spheres do not always work in concert and there exist significant obstacles and even resistances to communication of knowledge across boundaries. Citizen concerns have been crucial over the last sixty years in creating environmental knowledge from the perspective of citizens, in contrast to governmental or corporate interests, even though government has since taken on major responsibilities for the production, dissemination and authentication of environmental information. Those with a desire to disrupt remedial action on the environment have found disrupting the knowledge functions of the government an important tool.