Science at the Bar: Law, Science, and Technology in Americaby Sheila Jasanoff, Sheila S. Jasanoff
Issues spawned by the headlong pace of developments in science and technology fill the courts. How should we deal with frozen embryos and leaky implants, dangerous chemicals, DNA fingerprints, and genetically engineered animals? The realm of the law, to which beleaguered people look for answers, is sometimes at a lossconstrained by its own assumptions and… See more details below
Issues spawned by the headlong pace of developments in science and technology fill the courts. How should we deal with frozen embryos and leaky implants, dangerous chemicals, DNA fingerprints, and genetically engineered animals? The realm of the law, to which beleaguered people look for answers, is sometimes at a lossconstrained by its own assumptions and practices, Sheila Jasanoff suggests. This book exposes American law's long-standing involvement in constructing, propagating, and perpetuating a variety of myths about science and technology.
Science at the Bar is the first book to examine in detail how two powerful American institutionsboth seekers after truthinteract with each other. Looking at cases involving product liability, medical malpractice, toxic torts, genetic engineering, and life and death, Jasanoff argues that the courts do not simply depend on scientific findings for guidancethey actually influence the production of science and technology at many different levels. Research is conducted and interpreted to answer legal questions. Experts are selected to be credible on the witness stand. Products are redesigned to reduce the risk of lawsuits. At the same time the courts emerge here as democratizing agents in disputes over the control and deployment of new technologies, advancing and sustaining a public dialogue about the limits of expertise. Jasanoff shows how positivistic views of science and the law often prevent courts from realizing their full potential as centers for a progressive critique of science and technology.
With its lucid analysis of both scientific and legal modes of reasoning, and its recommendations for scholars and policymakers, this book will be an indispensable resource for anyone who hopes to understand the changing configurations of science, technology, and the law in our litigious society.
- Harvard University Press
- Publication date:
- Twentieth Century Fund Books/Reports/Studies Series
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Table of Contents
Foreword by Richard C. Leone
The Intersections of Science and Law
Changing Knowledge, Changing Rules
The Law's Construction of Expertise
The Technical Discourse of Government
Law in the Republic of Science
Toxic Torts and the Politics of Causation
Legal Encounters with Genetic Engineering
Definitions of Life and Death
Toward a More Reflective Alliance
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