One way of approaching this might be in terms of the relationships between trust in the future and different actors’ proximity to the actual scientific work. In other words, let us examine whether expectations vary according to whether someone is practically engaged with the science or, on the other hand, simply familiar with the expectations associated with the science. MacKenzie’s notion of the certainty trough and also Collins’ discussion of the ‘core-set’ are both valuable here (see also, Michael and Birke). MacKenzie draws a correlation between closeness to the point of knowledge production (innovation, experimentation, testing etc) and (un)certainty.

nik brown & mike michael

Brown, N. and Michael, M. (2003). A Sociology of Expectations: Retrospecting Prospects and Prospecting Retrospects. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 15(1), 3-18.