I present two linked arguments related to the ongoing discussion in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) concerning how expertises should be classified in connection with science-related disputes. My first argument is that the ongoing and much debated efforts of STS scholars Harry Collins and Robert Evans to create a normative theory of scientific expertises ignore important insights from STS into the relationship between scientists and publics. I demonstrate that the goal of new demarcation criteria between experts and non-experts is currently being pursued without a sufficient consideration for the contrasting frameworks through which publics and scientific communities conceive of science-related disputes, and, as a consequence, that the normative theory of expertise, in its proposed form, risks unduly favouring representatives of science over those of public participants. My second argument is that, from the point of view of STS scholarship, an analytical approach focusing on the processes by which research questions are formulated, or framed, is promising in terms of understanding the basis for public involvement and stance taking in science-related disputes. While the normative classification of expertises is useful for examining the legitimacy by which individuals are involved in science-related issues, I demonstrate that the analysis of framing-processes can be used to examine the formulation of issues, thereby forming a useful and necessary supplement to Collins and Evans‟ proposed theory. I suggest that better understandings of the relationship between scientific experts and laypersons in the context of science-related disputes might be achieved by analysing the ability of either group to influence the framing of relevant issues in the public sphere.
Keywords: civic epistemology, expertise, framing, decision making, public participation