Post-normal science (PNS) was developed in the 1990s by
PNS can be considered as complementing the styles of analysis based on risk and cost-benefit analysis prevailing at that time and integrating concepts of a new critical science developed in previous works by the same authors.
PNS is not a new scientific method following Aristotle and Bacon, a new paradigm in the Kuhnian sense, or an attempt to reach a new ‘normal’. It is instead, a set of insights to guide actionable and robust knowledge production for policy decision making and action in challenges like pandemics, ecosystems collapse, biodiversity loss and, in general, sustainability transitions.
According to its proponents
Moving from PNS
"At birth Post-normal science was conceived as an inclusive set of robust insights more than as an exclusive fully structured theory or field of practice". Some of the ideas underpinning PNS can already be found in a work published in 1983 and entitled "Three types of risk assessment: a methodological analysis"  This and subsequent works  show that PNS concentrates on few aspects of the complex relation between science and policy: the communication of uncertainty, the assessment of quality, and the justification and practice of the extended peer communities.
Coming to the PNS diagram (figure above) the horizontal axis represents ‘Systems Uncertainties’ and the vertical one ‘Decision Stakes’. The three quadrants identify Applied Science, Professional Consultancy, and Post-Normal Science. Different standards of quality and styles of analysis are appropriate to different regions in the diagram, i.e. post-normal science does not claim relevance and cogency on all of science's application but only on those defined by the PNS's
There are important linkages between PNS and complexity science,
Extended peer community
In PNS extended peer communities are spaces where perspectives, values, styles of knowing and power differentials are expressed in a context of inequalities and conflict. Resolutions, compromises and knowledge co-production are contingent and not necessarily achievable.
Beside its dominating influence in the literature on 'futures', PNS is considered to have influenced the ecological ‘conservation versus preservation debate’, especially via its reading by American pragmatist Bryan G. Norton. According to Jozef Keulartz  the PNS concept of "extended peer community" influenced how Norton's developed his 'convergence hypothesis'. The hypothesis posits that ecologists of different orientation will converge once they start thinking 'as a mountain', or as a planet. For Norton this will be achieved via deliberative democracy, which will pragmatically overcome the black and white divide between conservationists and preservationists. More recently it has been argued that conservation science, embedded as it is in a multi-layered governance structures of policy-makers, practitioners, and stakeholders, is itself an 'extended peer community', and as a result conservation has always been ‘post-normal’.
Other authors  attribute to PNS the role of having stimulated the take up of transdisciplinary methodological frameworks, reliant on the social constructivist perspective embedded in PNS.
Today post-normal science is intended as applicable to most instances where the use of evidence is contested due to different norms and values. Typical instances are in the use of
As summarized in a recent work "the ideas and concepts of post normal science bring about the emergence of new problem solving strategies in which the role of science is appreciated in its full context of the complexity and the uncertainty of natural systems and the relevance of human commitments and values."
For Peter Gluckman (2014), chief science advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, post-normal science approaches are today appropriate for a host of problems including "eradication of exogenous pests […], offshore oil prospecting, legalization of recreational psychotropic drugs, water quality, family violence, obesity, teenage morbidity and suicide, the ageing population, the prioritization of early-childhood education, reduction of agricultural greenhouse gases, and balancing economic growth and environmental sustainability".
Recent reviews of the history and evolution of PNS, its definitions, conceptualizations, and uses can be found in Turnpenny et al., 2010, and in The Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics (Nature and Society). There has been recently an increased reference to post-normal science, e.g. in Nature and related journals.
A criticism of post-normal science is offered by Weingart (1997) for whom post-normal science does not introduce a new epistemology but retraces earlier debates linked to the so-called "finalization thesis". For Jörg Friedrichs  – comparing the issues of climate change and peak energy – an extension of the peer community has taken place in the climate science community, transforming climate scientists into ‘stealth advocates’, while scientists working on energy security – without PNS, would still maintain their credentials of neutrality and objectivity. Another criticism is that the extended peer community's use undermines the scientific method's use of empiricism and that its goal would be better addressed by providing greater science education.
The crisis of science
It has been argued
Among the quantitative styles of analysis which make reference to post-normal science one can mention
In relation to mathematical modelling post-normal science suggests a participatory approach, whereby ‘models to predict and control the future’ are replaced by ‘models to map our ignorance about the future’, in the process exploring and revealing the metaphors embedded in the model. PNS is also known for its definition of garbage in, garbage out (GIGO): in modelling GIGO occurs when the uncertainties in the inputs must be suppressed, lest the outputs become completely indeterminate. In a comment published in Nature 22 scholars take COVID-19 as the occasion for suggesting five ways to make models serve society better. The piece notes "how the operation of science changes when questions of urgency, stakes, values and uncertainty collide — in the ‘post-normal’ regime".
On 25 March 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of scholars of post-normal orientation published on the blog section of the STEPS Centre (for Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) at the University of Sussex. The piece  argues that the COVID-19 emergency has all the elements of a post-normal science context, and notes that "this pandemic offers society an occasion to open a fresh discussion on whether we now need to learn how to do science in a different way".
The journal FUTURES devoted several specials issues to post-normal science.
- The first was in 1999 and included two editorial pieces, from Jerome Ravetz and Silvio Funtowicz, Post-Normal Science—an insight now maturing, and from Jerome Ravetz: What is Post-Normal Science.
- The second special issue, edited by Merryl Wyn Davies, was entitled "Post normal times" in 2011. This was a selection of papers from the symposium "Post Normal Science – perspectives & prospectives 26-27th June 2009, Oxford." A summary of the abstracts can be found on the NUSAP net.
- The third special issue on post-normal science was in 2017. This special issue contains a selection of papers discussed at the University of Bergen's Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities between 2014 and 2016. The issue includes also two extended commentaries on the present crisis in science and the post-fact/post-truth discourse, one from Europe and one from Japan.
Another special issue on post-normal science was published on the journal Science, Technology, & Human Values in May 2011.
- ^ a b Funtowicz, S. O. and Ravetz, J. R., 1991. "A New Scientific Methodology for Global Environmental Issues", in Costanza, R. (ed.), Ecological Economics: The Science and Management of Sustainability: 137–152. New York: Columbia University Press.
- ^ a b Funtowicz, S. O. and Ravetz, J. R., 1992. "Three types of risk assessment and the emergence of postnormal science", in Krimsky, S. and Golding, D. (eds.), Social theories of risk: 251–273. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood.
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- ^ a b Funtowicz, S. and Ravetz, J., 1990. Uncertainty and Quality in Science for Policy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.[page needed]
- ^ Ravetz, J. R., 1971. Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems. Oxford University Press.[page needed]
- ^ Funtowicz, S. and Ravetz, J., "Post-normal science", in Companion to Environmental Studies, Edited ByNoel Castree, Mike Hulme, James D. Proctor, 2018, Routledge.
- ^ Strand, R., "Post-Normal Science", in Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics, Edited By Clive L. Spash, 2017, Routledge.
- ^ T. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press, 1962.[page needed]
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- ^ Hulme, Mike (14 March 2007). "The appliance of science". The Guardian.
- ^ J. R. Ravetz, "Post-Normal Science Symposium: Address by Jerome Ravetz Reflections on ‘informed critical resistance, reform and the making of futures,’" University of Oxford, Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.insis.ox.ac.uk/article/post-normal-science-symposium-address-jerome-ravetz
- ^ a b Thomas Gauthier, Sylvaine Mercuri Chapuis, 2018, An Investigation of Futures Studies Scholarly Literature, In: Poli R. (eds) Handbook of Anticipation. Springer, Cham
- ^ Funtowicz, S., 2016, personal correspondence.
- ^ Funtowicz, S. O. and Ravetz, J. R. (1985), Three types of risk assessment: a methodological analysis, in C. Whipple and V. T. Covello (Eds), Risk Analysis in the Private Sector, pp 217-232 (Plenum, New York).
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- ^ Strand, R., 2017, Post normal Science, The Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics (Nature and Society) Edited by Clive L. Spash, p. 288-297.
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- ^ Funtowicz, Silvio; Ravetz, Jerry (October 1990). "Post-normal science: A new science for new times". Scientific European. pp. 20–22.
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- ^ Postnormal pandemics: Why COVID-19 requires a new approach to science, guest post on STEPS by David Waltner-Toews, Annibale Biggeri, Bruna De Marchi, Silvio Funtowicz, Mario Giampietro, Martin O’Connor, Jerome R. Ravetz, Andrea Saltelli and Jeroen P. van der Sluijs.
- ^ Davies, M.W., Editor, 2011, Special Issue: Postnormal Times Futures, Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages 135-228 (March 2011). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00163287/43/2
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- Ravetz, Jerome R. (1979). ISBN 978-0-19-519721-1.
- Ravetz, Jerome R. (September 1987). "Usable Knowledge, Usable Ignorance: Incomplete Science with Policy Implications". Knowledge. 9 (1): 87–116. S2CID 146551904.
- Funtowicz, S.O. and J.R. Ravetz (1990). Uncertainty and Quality in Science for Policy. Kluwer Academic Publishers, the Netherlands.
- Ravetz, Jerome R. (2005). The No nonsense guide to science. Oxford: New Internationalist.
- Post-Normal Times
- Introductory lecture to Post Normal Science (requires Internet Explorer)
- Article on The Guardian 14 March 2007
- Article on The Conversation (website) 26 September 2016
- More articles on PNS
- About MUSIASEM
- Special issue on Futures
- Centre for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies, East West University (http://eastwestaffairs.org/cppfs/)