Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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This book has been a long time in the making. I first conceived of the project in 2001 as an arc through the historical, philosophical, and practical terrain of science in policymaking. It seemed to me that the chronic debates and misconceptions that plague this terrain stemmed from the embrace of a particular ...
Chapter 1. Introduction: Science Wars and Policy Wars
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When considering the importance of science in policymaking, common wisdom contends that keeping science as far as possible from social and political concerns would be the best way to ensure science’s reliability. This intuition is captured in the value-free ideal for science—that social, ...
Chapter 2. The Rise of the Science Advisor
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With the current omnipresent need for science advice, how to ensure the soundness of such advice has become an ongoing source of difficulty in government. Yet the need for sound science advice was not always obvious. At the beginning of the twentieth century in the United States, ...
Chapter 3. Origins of the Value-Free Ideal for Science
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While scientists took on an ever more visible, even if more contentious, public role throughout the 1960s and 1970s, philosophers of science came to ignore this public role. One might imagine that philosophers of science would illuminate this role, examining the place of expertise in a democracy ...
Chapter 4. The Moral Responsibilities of Scientists
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The debate among philosophers of science in the 1950s concerning values in science hinged on the proper role of scientists in a modern democracy. Should scientists be giving advice to decisionmakers? And should they, when giving this advice, consider the context of use and the potential consequences of error ...
Chapter 5. The Structure of Values in Science
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Even when making empirical claims, scientists have the same moral responsibilities as the general population to consider the consequences of error. This apparently unremarkable statement has some remarkable implications. It means that scientists should consider the potential social and ethical consequences ...
Chapter 6. Objectivity in Science
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The value-free ideal is a bad ideal for science. It is not restrictive enough on the proper role for cognitive values in science and it is too restrictive on the needed role for social and ethical values. The moral responsibility to consider the consequences of error requires the use of values, ...
Chapter 7. The Integrity of Science in the Policy Process
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Thus far, I have argued that scientists, when making judgments in their work, have a moral responsibility to consider the consequences of error, including social and ethical consequences, a responsibility that cannot be readily shifted to other parties. If they have this responsibility, then the proper role for values ...
Chapter 8. Values and Practices
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Science, even science to be used in public policy, should not be value free. Scientists must make judgments about the acceptability of uncertainty, and these judgments require a range of values, including ethical and social values where relevant. The integrity of science depends not on keeping ...
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Reliance on the value-free ideal has produced something of a mess. Scientists have thought that any consideration of ethical or social values, particularly in the assessment of evidence, would undermine scientific integrity and authority. Yet one cannot adequately assess the sufficiency of evidence without such values, ...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2009