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L 179 Chapter 1: Introduction 1. Gross and Levitt lump all critics of science together as “left.” Many find this claim preposterous, given the views of some of the authors criticized by Gross and Levitt. See, for example, Berger 1994. 2. There is some disagreement over whether the editors of Social Text thought the essay was genuinely good or whether they published it simply because it was an attempt by a physicist to join the discussion. Social Text is “a non-refereed journal of political opinion and cultural analysis produced by an editorial collective,” and thus should not be considered a mainstream academic journal, for whom peer review is central. (Editorial policy quoted in Boghossian 1998, 26; see also MacCabe 1998.) Christopher Hitchens (1998) reminds us of “two little-mentioned aspects of the case: first, the fact that at least one member of the Social Text editorial board does not believe the Sokal essay was a put-on; second, the fact that a conservative critic, writing in the Wall Street Journal, used the same essay to demonstrate the sort of rubbish that ST [Social Text] was inflicting on the ‘public’” (44). 3. Consider, for example, the N-ray affair or the Piltdown Man. See Broad and Wade 1982, 107–25, for more details. 4. There is a venerable tradition of forgeries, but these seemed to be more aimed at out-and-out deception of everyone, in an attempt to make money or to gain prestige rather than to catch a colleague at sloppy scholarship. See Grafton 1990 for an engaging account of forged texts in the Western tradition. Grafton’s assessment of the forger in the end is harsh: “Above all, he is irresponsible; however good his ends and elegant his techniques, he lies” (126). 5. Some have seen the Science Wars as providing ammunition for creationists and/ or intelligent design theorists. With social epistemologist Steve Fuller recently acting as an expert witness on the side of intelligent design theorists, there seems to be something to this. But outside of this typically American and anomalous debate about science education, I see little impact of the Science Wars on the role of science in the United States. 6. The OMB has since crafted guidelines that would assist Federal agencies in meeting these standards. The OMB guidelines (OMB 2002, 2005) make clear how Notes Douglas text.indd 179 4/16/09 2:47:21 PM difficult it is to meet the goals of the legislation. The OMB relies upon a narrow construal of integrity (defined as the lack of unauthorized tampering) and defines quality as just utility, integrity, and objectivity (OMB 2002, 8459–60). The key criterion remaining, objectivity, is assessed largely through peer review of documents, supplemented by reproducibility of analyses by others where relevant. Depending on the charge given to peer reviewers, peer reviews can be more or less helpful with this task. Unfortunately, the OMB instructs agencies to prevent peer reviews from assessing the acceptability of uncertainty in government documents (OMB 2005, 2669). Debate over how much evidence is enough, or how much uncertainty is acceptable, is a key source of contention in the sound science–junk science debates. 7. Concerns over the suppression of evidence by the Bush administration are raised in Union of Concerned Scientists 2004 and the August 2003 Waxman Report (U.S. Congress 2003). Similar concerns are raised from a different political angle in Gough 2003. 8. The value-free ideal for science, which will be historically traced and explicated further in chapter 3, holds that scientists, when reasoning about evidence, should consider only epistemic or cognitive values. For recent defenses of the ideal, see Lacey 1999 and Mitchell 2004. The arguments presented here in the ensuing chapters are attempts to adequately address the concerns they raise in their work. 9. Philip Kitcher (2001) addresses the problem of how society should decide which research agendas should be pursued. This is a difficult area, as one must assess the (potential) value of various possible pieces of knowledge one could acquire. This kind of assessment opens the door to comparing the value of that knowledge against other social goods, such as justice or economic prosperity. This line of inquiry also runs into problems of the freedom of inquiry, and how that freedom is to be articulated and what its boundaries are. These issues are outside the scope of this book. 10. Longino (2002) argues that knowledge itself is necessarily social. 11. See, for example, Wolpert 1992, 17...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780822973577
Related ISBN
9780822960263
MARC Record
OCLC
794702159
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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