Funtowicz has been Professor II at SVT since February 2012. He is a philosopher of science active in the field of science and technology studies. He began his career teaching mathematics, logic and research methodology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the 1980s he was a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, England. Until his retirement in 2011 he was a scientific officer at the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (EC-JRC).

Together with Jerome R. Ravetz, he introduced the concept of post-normal science (PNS), and in their book Uncertainty and Quality in Science for Policy (1990), they introduced NUSAP; a notational system for the management and communication of uncertainty in science for policy. Funtowicz' article Science for the post-normal age (1993) is still the most cited paper in its field in the journal Futures. The paper was recently republished with a new foreword related to the Covid-19 pandemic (May 2020).

With Ângela Guimarães Pereira, he curated Science for Policy: New Challenges, New Opportunitiesand  End of the Cartesian Dream, which represent an important collective effort gathering three generation of scholars active in the field of PNS, followed a year later by a multi-authors book by the same community on the reproducibility and quality control crisis of science.

Funtowicz has also collaborated with researchers at SVT. With Professor Roger Strand he has looked at the issue of agency at times of change. In the paper Change and commitment - beyond risk and responsibility (2011), Funtowicz and Strand argue that a risk-centred vision based on prediction and control in front of global and emerging treats should be replaced by one based on commitment.

NUSAP, the system introduced by Funtowicz and Ravetz, was later developed as a full system of knowledge quality assessment by Professor in Theory of Science at SVT, Jeroen P. Van Der Sluijs.

In addition, Funtowicz has worked with Andrea Saltelli, Professor II at SVT. With Saltelli and others he developed the concept of sensitivity auditing, an extension of sensitivity analysis for statistical and mathematical models used as input to policy design and appraisal.

Funtowicz is the author of numerous books and papers in the field of environmental and technological risks and policy-related research. He has lectured extensively and participated in the editorial board of several publications, and the scientific committee of many projects and international conferences.


Blog post for ESRC STEPS Centre (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability),  25.03.2020: Post-normal pandemics: Why COVID-19 requires a new approach to science (with David Waltner-Toews, Annibale Biggeri, Bruna De Marchi, Mario Giampietro, Martin O’Connor, Jerome R. Ravetz), Andrea Saltelli and Jeroen P. van der Sluijs.)


Lecture: Post-normal science: A brief history and basic concepts (password: participation) Silvio Funtowicz and fellow SVTer Zora Kovacic introduce and talk about post-normal science.

Short talk at the ESRC STEPS Centre's 2019 symposium on uncertainty: What is Uncertainty, and Why Does it Matter? This talk was part of a panel at the symposium 'The Politics of Uncertainty: Practical Challenges for Transformative Action'. The event was held at the Institute of Development Studies on 3-5 July 2019.

Key note speech: 2019 SDG Conference Bergen. Over two days, Norway’s research and higher education sector brought together national and international speakers from academia, government, civil society, and the United Nations system to explore the roles of research and education in creating new approaches for shared commitments to a sustainable global future. Funtowicz delivered a key note speech on day 2.


Talk: On the Rhetoric of Sustainability. Hosted by Forum for Science and Democracy, SDG Bergen and Bergen Global. In this talk, professor Silvio Funtowicz takes a critical look at the sustainability concept, sharing his experiences on how researchers can provide advice to policy-makers in the context of scientific uncertainty and value conflicts.

Conversation: On Post-Normal Science. Silvio Funtowicz (UiB) and Thor Olav Iversen go deep and talk about the 'crisis of science' and the origins of Post Normal Science.

Academic article
  • Show author(s) 2020. The technique is never neutral. How methodological choices condition the generation of narratives for sustainability. Environmental Science and Policy. 87-98.
  • Show author(s) 2020. From Elite Folk Science to the Policy Legend of the Circular Economy. Environmental Science and Policy. 64-72.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Vecchie risposte a nuove sfide. Epidemiologia & Prevenzione. 182-183.
  • Show author(s) 2017. What is science’s crisis really about? Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies. 5-11.
  • Show author(s) 2017. Scienza e democrazia in crisi: un viaggio verso il nuovo che ancora non c’è. Epidemiologia & Prevenzione.
  • Show author(s) 2016. New narratives for innovation. Journal of Cleaner Production. 1849-1853.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Sustainability and techno-science: What do we want to sustain and for whom? International Journal of Sustainable Development. 329-348.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Negotiating a place for sustainability science: Narratives from the Waikaraka Estuary in New Zealand. Environmental Science and Policy. 47-59.
  • Show author(s) 2014. When all models are wrong. Issues in science and technology. 79-85.
  • Show author(s) 2013. VISIONS for Venice in 2050: Aleph, story telling and unsolved paradoxes. Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies. 69-78.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Science based risk assessment requires careful evaluation of all studies. Nature Biotechnology. 1077-1078.
  • Show author(s) 2012. Sustainable development indicators: from statistics to policy. Environmental Policy and Governance. 322-336.
  • Show author(s) 2012. Super-Computers, Evolution and the Fabrication of Life: How can Science and Technology Studies (STS) Contribute to More Reflexive Developments in Systems and Synthetic Biology? International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainble Development. 11-24.
  • Show author(s) 2012. Hybridizing sustainability: towards a new praxis for the present human predicament. Sustainability Science. 75-89.
  • Show author(s) 2013. What can history teach us about the prospects of a European Research Area? .
  • Show author(s) 2013. Plug and play: Synthetic biology and the dream of engineering life. Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies. 1-4.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Plug and Play: Synthetic Biology and the Dream of Engineering Biology. Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies. 1-4.
Reader opinion piece
  • Show author(s) 2013. Science-based risk assessment requires careful evaluation of all studies. Nature Biotechnology. 1077-1078.
Short communication
  • Show author(s) 2012. EL DEBATE: Super-ordenadores, evolución y “la basura” de la vida: ¿Cómo pueden los estudios sociales de la ciencia contribuir a un desarrollo más reflexivo de la biología sintética y de sistemas? Revista Iberoamericana de Ciencia, Tecnología y Sociedad -CTS.
Academic anthology/Conference proceedings
  • Show author(s) 2015. Science, Philosophy and Sustainability The End of the Cartesian Dream. Routledge.
Non-fiction book
  • Show author(s) 2016. Science on the verge. Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes.
Feature article
  • Show author(s) 2020. Post-normal pandemics: Why COVID-19 requires a new approach to science. Blog of ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre.
Letter to the editor
  • Show author(s) 2016. Modelling: Climate costing is politics not science. Nature. 177-177.
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
  • Show author(s) 2016. Democracy, Ethics and the Governance of Emerging Science and Technology. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Post-Normal Science. 12 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Peer Review and Quality Control. 5 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2015. New Forms of Science. 7 pages.
Academic literature review
  • Show author(s) 2020. From risk calculations to narratives of danger. Climate Risk Management. |1-4.
Article in business/trade/industry journal
  • Show author(s) 2019. Tutti dalla parte di Greta? Epidemiologia & Prevenzione. 202-203.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)


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