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Scientific Controversies : Case Studies in the Resolution and Closure of Disputes in Science and Technology - H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.

Scientific Controversies

Case Studies in the Resolution and Closure of Disputes in Science and Technology

Hardcover Published: 27th March 1987
ISBN: 9780521255653
Number Of Pages: 652

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This collection of essays examines the ways in which disputes and controversies about the application of scientific knowledge are resolved. Four concrete examples of public controversy are considered in detail: the efficacy of Laetrile, the classification of homosexuality as a disease, the setting of safety standards in the workplace, and the utility of nuclear energy as a source of power. The essays in this volume show that debates about these cases are not confined to matters of empirical fact. Rather, as is seen with most scientific and technical controversies, they focus on and are structured by complex ethical, economic, and political interests. Drs. Engelhardt and Caplan have brought together a distinguished group of scholars from the sciences and humanities, who sketch a theory of scientific controversy and attempt to provide recommendations about the ways in which both scientists and the public ought to seek more informed resolutions of highly contentious issues in science and technology. Scientific Controversies is offered as a contribution to the better understanding of the roles of both science and nonscientific interests in disputes and controversies pertaining to science and technology.

Theoretical Perspectives
Ethical theory and the problem of closure
Scientific controversy and its termination
The political anatomy of controversy in the sciences
Controversies involving science and technology: a theoretical perspective
Politics, public policy-making, and the process of reaching closure
The role of experts in scientific controversy
The continental drift debate
How history and politics affect closure in biomedical discussions: the example of the Soviet Union
Scientific disputes over policy
Controversies and the authority of science
Post-Skinner and post-Freud: philosophical causes of scientific disagreements
Contemporary Case Studies
Resolution of the Laetrile controversy: past attempts and future prospects
Federal regulation of Laetrile
Quasi libertarianism and the Laetrile controversy
Judicial deflection of scientific questions: pushing the Laetrile controversy toward medical closure
Politics, science, and the problem of psychiatric nomenclature: a case study of the American Psychiatric Association referendum on homosexuality
The diagnostic status of homosexuality in DSM-III: a reformulation of the issues
On arriving at the American Psychiatric Association decision on homosexuality
Values in the debate over workplace safety and health: the rancorous rhetoric about regulation
The successful experiment that failed
The power of efficiency: balancing benefits and costs in regulating occupational exposure to toxic substances
Closure in occupational safety and health: the benzene and cotton dust decisions
Nuclear fear: a history and an experiment
Closure and controversy: three mile island Cora
Understanding the nuclear power controversy
Controversy, Closure, and The Public
The role of the mass media in scientific controversy
The National Commission on Human Experimentation: procedures and outcomes
The forms and norms of closure
Author index
Subject index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521255653
ISBN-10: 0521255651
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 652
Published: 27th March 1987
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 3.96
Weight (kg): 1.12

Earn 624 Qantas Points
on this Book