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Darrin Allan Durant

University of Melbourne

Based in


Dr. Durant teaches science and technology studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He investigates energy politics, specifically that concerning the history of nuclear waste disposal, and current policy debates over nuclear power, renewables and climate change, and environmental governance. He has published widely on the problem of expertise, including what constitutes expertise, how expertise relates to democratic deliberation, ideals of the social responsibilities of intellectuals and professionals broadly conceived, and the challenges to trustworthy authority posed by misinformation and disinformation. Books include Nuclear Waste Management in Canada (2009) and Experts and the Will of the People (2020), and the current book project is a social history of Australian policy disputes aver nuclear power and waste disposal siting, 1998-present.

Country(ies) of Specialty


Focus areas of expertise

Renewable energy

How to Connect



2023. ‘Fusion Edgelords: Climate-energy futures at COIP28,’ Arena, 8 December.

2023. ‘Disarming the persistent myths of a glowing nuclear renaissance,’ Crikey, 18 April.

2023. ‘Nuclear Afterlife,’ Arena (Quarterly), Issue No. 13, Autumn: 38-45.

2023. ‘Are Honest Brokers good for Democracy?’ Social
Epistemology, 37 (3): 276-289.

2023. ‘The Third Wave and Populism: Scientific Expertise as a Check and Balance.’ The
Oxford Handbook of Expertise and Democratic Politics, edited by Gil Eyal & Thomas Medvetz (London: Oxford University Press). Co-authored with Harry
Collins, Robert Evans, and Martin Weinel, pp. 52-75.

2022. ‘Fusion Net Gain is Manufactured Ignorance,’ Arena, 16 December.

2022. ‘Amazon’s Ring: Surveillance as a Slippery Slope Service,’ Science as Culture, 31(1): 92-106.
Co-authored with Evan Selinger.

2022. ‘Fusion Power: Big Energy Fuses with Big Spin,’ Arena, 24 February.

2022. ‘A New Method for
Computational Cultural Cartography: From Neural Word Embeddings to Transformers
and Bayesian Mixture Models,’ The Canadian Review of Sociology, 59(2), 228-250. Co-authored with John McLevey, Tyler Crick, and Pierson Browne.

2021. ‘The Nuclear White Elephant,’ Arena,
30 September.

2021. ‘Post-Truth
Dystopia: Huxleyan Distraction or Orwellian Control?’ in Post-Truth Imaginations: New starting points for critique of
technoscience and society, edited by Kjetil Rommetveit
(London: Routledge), pp. 113-137.

2020. Experts and the Will of the People:
Society, Populism and Science (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan).
Co-authored with Harry Collins, Robert Evans and Martin Weinel.

2020. ‘Expert Authority in a Pandemic: Not Just a Dystopian Playbook,” 10
November, Mellon sawyer seminar on trust and mistrust of experts. ONLINE

2020. ‘Disinformation and the Challenge to Democracy’
(9 July): https://eng.unimelb.edu.au/industry/defence/news-and-events/disinformation-and-the-challenge-to-democracy

2019. ‘Ignoring Experts.’
In The Third Wave in Science and Technology Studies: Future Research Directions on Expertise and Experience,
edited by D. Caudill, S. N. Connolly, M. E. Gorman and M. Weinel (NY: Palgrave
Macmillan), 33-52.

2019. ‘Australia’s nuclear fantasies: the technological creationism of nuclear
power, Nuclear Monitor, 19

2019. ‘‘Nuclear Fantasies Down Under: The Political
and Economic Problems with Old Money Power,’ New Matilda, 17 December. ONLINE

2018. ‘Manufacturing a
better planet: challenges due to the gap between the best intentions and social
realities.’ Recycling, 3(2):
1-20. Co-authored with Adam Lucas.

2018. ‘Servant or Partner?
The role of expertise and knowledge in democracy.’ The Conversation, 9 March. ONLINE

2018. ‘Remaking Participation: or, cheering on participation.’ (Invited) Essay Review
of Jason Chilvers and Matthew Kearnes (eds.), Remaking Participation: Science, Environment, and Emergent Publics (London: Routledge, 2016), in Metascience,
27(2): 259-265.

2017. ‘Who are
you calling ‘anti-science’? How science serves social and
political agendas.’ In The
Conversation Yearbook 2017: 50 Standout Articles from Australia’s Top Thinkers,
edited by John Watson (The Conversation Trust), 66-71. Originally appearing in The Conversation, 31 July 2017. ONLINE

2017. ‘Coffee
House Environmentalism’. In Naturophilia, edited by R. Beale (Melbourne: The University of Melbourne Press). ISBN 978 0 7340 5354 1. Also appeared on display in the Carlton Connect Lab-14 Gallery, Naturophilia exhibit, held 22 March to 12 April 2017 (curated
by Renee Beale).

2016. ‘The Undead Linear
Model of Expertise.’ In Political
Legitimacy, Science and Social Authority: Knowledge and Action in Liberal Democracies,
edited by M. Heazle & and J. Kane (London: Routledge), 17-37.

2016. ‘Collins on Experts: Gangnam Style STS.’ (Invited) Essay Review of Harry Collins, Are we all scientific experts now? (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014), in Metascience
25(1): 119-124.

2015. ‘Simulative
Politics: the case of nuclear waste disposal.’ Environmental Politics 24(3):

2013. ‘Oil versus Nuclear: Risks and Social Expectations’. In Transforming the Social: Linking STS and the Social Sciences. The Korean Association of Science and Technology Studies (KASTS).

2011. ‘Models of
democracy in social studies of science.’ Social Studies of Science 41 (5): 691-714.

2011. “Radwaste in Canada,”
in Nuclear Waste Management in a Globalised World, edited by Urban Strandberg & Mats Andrén, 1st Edition (Milton
Park: Routledge), Chapter 2.

2010. ‘Public
Participation in the Making of Science Policy.’ Perspectives on Science 18 (2): 189-225.

2009. Nuclear Waste Management in Canada: Critical
Issues, Critical Perspectives, edited by Darrin Durant & Genevieve Fuji Johnson (Vancouver: UBC Press).

2009. ‘The Trouble with Nuclear.’ In Nuclear Waste Management
in Canada: Critical Issues, Critical Perspectives, edited by Darrin Durant &
Genevieve Fuji Johnson (Vancouver: UBC Press), 11-30.

2009. ‘Public Consultation as Performative Contradiction: The effect of a narrow
mandate on Canada’s nuclear waste management debate.’ In Nuclear Waste Management in Canada: Critical Issues, Critical Perspectives, edited by Darrin Durant & Genevieve Fuji Johnson (Vancouver: UBC Press), 69-89.

2009. ‘An Official
Narrative: Telling the history of nuclear waste management policy-making in Canada’ (co-authored with Anna Stanley). In Nuclear Waste Management in Canada: Critical Issues, Critical Perspectives, edited by Darrin Durant & Genevieve Fuji Johnson (Vancouver: UBC Press), 31-51.

2009. ‘Responsible action
and nuclear waste disposal.’ Technology in Society 31 (2): 150-57.

2009. ‘Radwaste in Canada:
A political-economy of uncertainty.’ Journal of Risk Research 12 (7&8): 897-919.

2009. ‘Conservation
Fallout: Nuclear Protest at Diablo Canyon.’ (Invited) Essay Review of John Wills, Conservation Fallout: Nuclear Protest at Diablo Canyon (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2006), in Isis 100(1): 201-202.

2008. ‘Accounting for expertise: Wynne and the autonomy of the lay public actor.’ Public Understanding of Science 17 (1): 5-20.

2007. ‘Burying globally,
acting locally: Control and co-option in nuclear waste management.’ Science & Public Policy 34 (7): 515-528.

2007. ‘Resistance to
nuclear waste disposal: credentialed experts, public opposition, and their shared lines of critique.’ Scientia Canadensis 30 (1): 1-30.

2006. ‘Managing
expertise: Performers, principals, and problems in Canadian nuclear waste management.’ Science and Public Policy 33 (3): 191-204.

2006. ‘Deep Waters: The
Ottawa River and Canada’s Nuclear Adventure.’ (Invited) Essay Review of Kim
Krenz, Deep Waters: The Ottawa River and Canada’s Nuclear Adventure (Montreal: MQUP, 2004), in Technology and Culture 47(3): 673-674.

2006. ‘Strategic Action
in Nuclear Waste Disposal: Canada’s Adaptive Phased Management Approach.’ In
Kjell Andersson (ed.), VALDOR 2006, Values in Decisions on Risk, Proceedings. Proceedings of the VALDOR Symposium, May 14-18, Stockholm, Sweden: Congrex Sweden AB, 45-51.