One, two, three, many! or…? Mapping of the controversy over the Swedish West Coast shrimp
Paper in proceedings, 2016
'Controversy mapping' can provide insights about issues related to actors, their networking, and governance where the interpretation of science is at stake. In turn, these insights can be useful for advocacy processes and collective problem-solving. In order to illustrate this statement a case study was conducted for the North Sea prawn (Pandalus borealis) in the West Coast of Sweden which was the main subject of a controversy that started in 2014 and ended in October 2015 with a Marine Stewardship Council labeling for the contested prawn. We used a method from the scientific humanities, 'controversy mapping', following the methodology suggested by Venturini (2010) and Latour (2012). The method enabled us to trace statements, literatures, and actors involved in the shrimp controversy. By assembling these elements over time, we were able to describe the process of the controversy and identify the networks that 'wrestled' over the scientific interpretation of the (same) data on shrimp population size along the Swedish West Coast. By using network visualisation and analysis software, the case study shows the extension of the network of actors that were part of the controversy, their roles, influence, perspectives and relationships. The material gathered on the controversy was subsequently analysed from the perspective of the production and consumption system of the shrimp. It shows how advocacy actors build alliances with selected product chain actors in order to gather momentum for change. Based on the findings from this research it is possible to suggest that controversy study can help the product chain actors understand their production and consumption system better and provide a basis for product chain roundtables for conflict resolution and problem solving.
Latour, Bruno. “Mapping controversies: syllabus 2012 -13.” MediaLab. Science Po. Retrieved from www.medialab-dev.sciences-po.fr October 15, 2015.
Venturini, Tommaso. “Diving in magma: How to explore controversies with actor-network theory.” Public understanding of science 19.3 (2010): 258-273