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Counterfeit scientific controversies in science policy contexts

Weinel, Martin 2008. Counterfeit scientific controversies in science policy contexts. [Working Paper]. School of Social Sciences Working Papers Series, vol. 120. Cardiff: Cardiff University. Available at: http://www.cf.ac.uk/socsi/resources/wp120.pdf

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Abstract

Experts disagree for many reasons and it is generally accepted that there is no `rational’ way to make them agree. As Michaels (2008) has demonstrated with regard to the activities of the tobacco industry, however, expert disagreement can be ‘manufactured’. This suggests a distinction between ‘genuine’ and ‘counterfeit scientific controversies.’ I argue that it is necessary and possible to distinguish between these two forms of expert disagreement. It is important for policy-making to know which disagreements to take seriously. ‘Counterfeit scientific controversies’ can delay or impede policy-decisions that depend on scientific knowledge. One way for Science & Technology Studies to contribute to science policymaking is to develop a consistent and reliable way to demarcate ‘genuine’ from ‘counterfeit scientific controversies’. This paper proposes four sociologically derived demarcation criteria.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for the Study of Knowledge Expertise and Science (KES)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:10
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/73744

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