Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt: Science and the Battle for Public Trust

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Overview


The intent and uses of science are a continuing preoccupation, especially in public debates on issues such as new pharmaceuticals, cloning, stem cells, genetically modified foods, and assisted reproduction. Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt, written by the eminent geneticist and historian Elof Carlson, explores the moral foundations of science and their role in these hot-button issues. Carlson chooses a variety of case histories and describes their scientific background and the part played by scientists in the application of their work, including their motivations and reactions to bad outcomes, both real and alleged. He examines why ethical lapses have occurred in these areas, why bad things happen when, for the most part, those who worked on the science had only good intentions in mind, and how such lapses can be prevented from occurring in the future. This exploration of ethics and science is important reading for those interested in issues of science and society, including journalists, theologians, legislators, lawyers, and scientists themselves.
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Editorial Reviews

BioEssays
This is a well-written book, with the beginnings of a good argument in favor of patrolling science for abuse. At a time in history when genetic determinism is so seductive and widely accepted, even when we don't yet understand the relative genetic and environmental contributions to complex traits, when scientists and non-scientists alike seem to have forgotten the horrific application of eugenics in the last century-within living memory-this book is a welcome reminder that good science can have bad consequences.
—Anne V. Buchanan
Metapsychology Online Reviews
The book gives a very good overview of the major issues facing scientists now and in the past. The explorations of the moral foundations of the book are so careful and simply written that it will compel the reader to reflect on her own values and beliefs. Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt will be beneficial not only for those working in medical research and ethics, but also for the general public who will find it very interesting and informative.
Nature
In his thought-provoking book Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt, [Carlson] asks why many of his young students who have turned away from careers in science feel that 'science has let them down through its bad outcomes'. In making his analysis he includes in the scientific community not only researchers but also those responsible for the commercialization and regulation of science, such as business executives, ethicists, theologians, legislators, lawyers and journalists.
—Ian Wilmut
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879698058
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Series: Science & Society Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
PART 1: THE DIVERSE MORAL AND ETHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BASIC AND APPLIED SCIENCE
1. Why Science Is Sometimes Perceived as Evil
2. The Tools of Judgment: Ethics and Moral Traditions
PART 2: THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN SHAPING SCIENCE
3. Evil at Its Worst: Nazi Medicine and Biology
4. The Banality of Evil: The Careers of Charles Davenport and Harry Laughlin
5. Heroes with Feet of Clay: Francis Galton and Harry Clay Sharp
PART 3: WARTIME AND THE THREAT OF WAR AS JUSTIFICATION FOR SUSPENDING ETHICAL AND MORAL BEHAVIOR BY SCIENTISTS
6. Radiation in Peace and War
7. Herbicides in Peace and War
PART 4: REGULATION OF SCIENCE TO PROTECT INDIVIDUAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH
8. Thalidomide-Corporate Misconduct Masquerading as an Act of God
9. A Synthetic Estrogen with Harmful Outcomes
PART 5: THE NECESSITY OF REGULATION TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
10. Pesticides and the Environmental Movement
11. Genetically Modified Foods-As Usual
PART 6: BASIC AND APPLIED RESEARCH IN MEDICINE
12. Medical Deception and Syphilis
13. Prenatal Diagnosis and an Alleged Eugenics through the Back Door
14. Cloning, Stem Cells, Hyperbole, and Cant
15. Assisted Reproduction and the Argument of Playing God
PART 7: ASSESSING BAD OUTCOMES
16. Quantifying Evil or Bad Outcomes
17. Science, History, and Responsibility
18. How Science Changes Our Worldview for the Better
19. How Can Good Intentions Avoid Bad Outcomes?
Index
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