Could models act as ‘interested amateurs’?

Dr Pete Barbrook-Johnson has written an article for Integration and Implementation Insights, inspired by Daniel Dennett’s idea of using lay audiences (‘curious nonexperts’) to aid and improve understanding between experts.


Pete Barbrook-Johnson

Pete writes that Dennett’s insight ‘sparked the idea that models could be “curious nonexperts” in policy debates and processes. I prefer and use the term “interested amateurs” over “curious nonexperts”, simply because the word ‘amateur’ seems slightly more insulting towards models!

‘In this role, models are not intended to provide answers to policy makers’ questions, or tell them what might happen in the future. Instead, models aim to help policy makers, experts, and those affected by policy – all “experts” on the policy topic at hand – improve their interaction and discussion, as well as their own thinking. Models therefore become not “truth” for policy makers to accept and take on board, but objects for everyone involved in making or advising or affected by the policy to consider and “wrestle” with – even to attack.’

You can read the whole article here.

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