Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$23.12
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $12.29
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 56%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $12.29   
  • New (4) from $24.85   
  • Used (9) from $12.29   

Overview

The role of science in policymaking has gained unprecedented stature in the United States, raising questions about the place of science and scientific expertise in the democratic process. Some scientists have been given considerable epistemic authority in shaping policy on issues of great moral and cultural significance, and the politicizing of these issues has become highly contentious.

Since World War II, most philosophers of science have purported the concept that science should be “value-free.” In Science, Policy and the Value-Free Ideal, Heather E. Douglas argues that such an ideal is neither adequate nor desirable for science.  She contends that the moral responsibilities of scientists require the consideration of values even at the heart of science. She lobbies for a new ideal in which values serve an essential function throughout scientific inquiry, but where the role values play is constrained at key points, thus protecting the integrity and objectivity of science. In this vein, Douglas outlines a system for the application of values to guide scientists through points of uncertainty fraught with moral valence.

Following a philosophical analysis of the historical background of science advising and the value-free ideal, Douglas defines how values should-and should not-function in science.  She discusses the distinctive direct and indirect roles for values in reasoning, and outlines seven senses of objectivity, showing how each can be employed to determine the reliability of scientific claims.  Douglas then uses these philosophical insights to clarify the distinction between junk science and sound science to be used in policymaking. In conclusion, she calls for greater openness on the values utilized in policymaking, and more public participation in the policymaking process, by suggesting various models for effective use of both the public and experts in key risk assessments.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal is an important contribution to the debate over science and values, and its account of value-laden science will be of interest to philosophers concerned with policy, scientific objectivity, and the social relevance of philosophy of science. A welcome invitation for philosophers of science to engage more fully with policy issues, a too-often neglected aspect of scientific practice."
—Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

 

”Douglas has produced a valuable book that should be of interest not only to philosophers but also to historians, sociologists, policy makers, and practicing scientists. . .  Douglas has also raised a number of important issues that scholars working in science studies will want to explore further.”
—Isis
 

“A wonderfully evenhanded argument for the impossibility of the ‘value-free ideal’ in science. Highly recommended.”
—Choice

“Clearly written, a pleasure to read.”
—Metapsychology

“Occupies a unique niche bridging philosophy and risk assessment. Everyone involved in providing and using scientific advice, and in doing risk analysis in general, would benefit from thinking about the issues and arguments presented in the book.”
—Risk Analysis

“A thought-provoking book for all readers interested in science studies, including philosophy, history, and sociology of science. It is also highly recommended for those who study or work in the decision oriented sciences, an activity that is becoming increasingly relevant in science and politics in contemporary societies.”
—Science and Education

Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the role of values in science. She clearly articulates at least one way in which values do play a legitimate, though indirect, role in science (in risk assessment).  She correctly diagnoses some important reasons why there is resistance to recognizing this, and makes it clear why acknowledging the role of values explicitly can be important for using science to make better policy decisions.”
—Sharon Crasnow, Riverside Community College

“An admirable and exciting book. . . . a useful starting point for thinking through such issues.”
—S. John/Studies in History and Philosophy of Science

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822960263
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 768,437
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather E. Douglas is associate professor of philosophy and Waterloo Chair in Science and Society at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

Ch. 1 Introduction: Science Wars and Policy Wars 1

Ch. 2 The Rise of the Science Advisor 23

Ch. 3 Origins of the Value-Free Ideal For Science 44

Ch. 4 The Moral Responsibilities of Scientists 66

Ch. 5 The Structure of Values in Science 87

Ch. 6 Objectivity in Science 115

Ch. 7 The Integrity of Science in the Policy Process 133

Ch. 8 Values and Practices 156

Epilogue 175

Notes 179

References 193

Index 205

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)