Steele, Katie Siobhan (2011) The scientist qua policy-advisor makes value judgements. In: Philosophy seminar, 21 Oct 2011, Edinburgh, UK.
This paper argues that the communication of scientific advice to policy-makers necessarily involves (ethical) value judgments, an important issue because it has implications for how scientists should be involved in the policy decision process. Richard Rudner has a well-known argument to this effect, but it is prone to the objection that one of his key assumptions is implausible, and moreover his `back-up' argument is incomplete. This paper revives the conclusion attributed to Rudner, by strengthening both his lines of argument: we generalize the initial assumption regarding the form in which scientists must communicate their results, and complete the `back-up' argument by appealing to the difference between private and public decisions. Our conclusion that science advisors must, for deep-seated pragmatic reasons, make value judgments, is further bolstered by reflections on how the scientific contribution to policy is far less straightforward than the Rudner-style model suggests
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)|
|Additional Information:||© 2011 The Author|
|Library of Congress subject classification:||Q Science > Q Science (General)|
|Sets:||Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method|
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