Values and Objectivity in Science illuminates many of the ethical issues that arise concerning scientific practices and applications, offering an account of how social and ethical values play important roles within science. Hugh Lacey develops and clarifies his previous analysis by arguing for the importance of research being conducted under a plurality of strategies, contrasting "materialist strategies" with "agro-ecological strategies." By displaying the structure of current ethical controversies about the legitimacy of planting transgenic crops, this book illustrates that sound thinking on such issues must be grounded on an adequate philosophy of science, one that can clearly distinguish between the proper and the distorting roles of values in scientific practices. This book will prove useful for science students and practitioners as well as those interested in the growing ethical questions involved in scientific practices.
This book successfully combines an original account of values and objectivity in science with an application to the case of transgenic crops. It brings careful analysis to a politically charged set of issues, and shows through this case study how philosophy of science has global import.
Hugh Lacey is one of our most careful thinkers about the interrelations of social values and scientific inquiry. Values and Objectivity in Science updates his philosophical account of these relations and then applies them to illuminating a series of issues in contemporary agricultural science. It is a timely and welcome volume, indeed.
Paul B. Thompson
Hugh Lacey places his thoughtful and well-researched observations on the controversy that has surrounded the development of agricultural biotechnology within a new philosophical interpretation of objectivity and values in science. The result is a "must read" for anyone with a serious interest in transgenic crops, including working scientists, science administrators, regulators and scholars of this debate. His approach is also an important contribution to science studies (and especially the philosophy of science) that demonstrates how lack of attention to the philosophical dimensions of scientific inquiry and science policy can blossom into full blown public debate.
Michael R. Matthews
This book manifests long and serious engagement with the pressing issue of identifying the impact of social values on the pursuit of science, and then it provides informed arguments for separating legitimate and useful impacts from illegitimate and ideological ones. Its treatment of debates about multicultural science is especially sophisticated.
Hugh Lacey‘s new book should be required reading for anyone interested in questions of values (or ethics) and their role in science. His discussion of research strategies also brings new insights concerning the nature and practice of science itself. The second part on transgenic agriculture is a brilliant and exemplary case study.
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I: The Interplay of Science and Values Chapter 3 How the Sciences Are and Are Not Value Free Chapter 4 Objectivity and Serving Human Well-Being Chapter 5 The Distinction Between Cognitive and Social Values Chapter 6 Incommensurability and "Multicultural Science" Chapter 7 The Social Location of Scientific Practices Part 8 Part II: Current Controversy About Transgenic Crops Chapter 9 The Controversy ABout Transgenics: Structure and Opposing Interests Chapter 10 Strategies for Research in Agricultural Science Chapter 11 Benefits of Using Transgenics Chapter 12 Environmental Risks of the Development and Use of Transgenics Chapter 13 Alternative ("Better") Forms of Farming Part 14 Prolegomenon to Empirical Investigation of Future Social Possibilities Chapter 15 The Socio-Cultural Location of Alternatives to Transgenics