Download A tapestry of values: an introduction to values in science by Kevin C. Elliott PDF

By Kevin C. Elliott

The function of values in medical examine has develop into a massive subject of dialogue in either scholarly and well known debates. Pundits around the political spectrum fear that learn on themes like weather switch, evolutionary idea, vaccine protection, and genetically transformed meals has turn into overly politicized. even as, it's transparent that values play a major position in technological know-how by way of proscribing unethical sorts of examine and through identifying what parts of study have the best relevance for society. identifying tips on how to distinguish valid and illegitimate impacts of values in medical examine is an issue of significant importance.
Recently, philosophers of technology have written greatly in this subject, yet so much in their paintings has been directed towards a scholarly viewers. This e-book makes the modern philosophical literature on technological know-how and values obtainable to a large readership. It examines case experiences from numerous learn components, together with weather technology, anthropology, chemical danger review, ecology, neurobiology, biomedical learn, and agriculture. those instances express that values have worthwhile roles to play in selecting study subject matters, settling on examine questions, identifying the goals of inquiry, responding to uncertainty, and determining the right way to speak info.
Kevin Elliott focuses not only on describing roles for values but additionally on opting for whilst their affects are literally acceptable. He emphasizes numerous stipulations for incorporating values in a sound model, and highlights a number of concepts for fostering engagement among stakeholders in order that worth affects may be subjected to cautious and significant scrutiny.

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They include efforts to solve important social problems, to obtain information that addresses social priorities, to communicate information to the public in a responsible manner, and to inform policymakers in ways that benefit society. Some critics might point out that most of these goals incorporate a questionable assumption, namely, that scientists should be aiming to benefit society. In my view, however, this is a very reasonable assumption. Surely everyone, including scientists, should strive to help others if it is relatively easy to do so, and everyone has responsibilities not to carelessly or negligently harm others.

Therefore, we need a different strategy for deciding when values have a legitimate role to play in scientific practice; we cannot merely point to examples where values have in fact influenced scientists. We need to decide which examples involve appropriate influences of values and which examples are problematic. Throughout this book, we will encounter two major justifications for bringing values into science. First, we will see that it is virtually impossible to prevent science from being influenced by values or supporting some values over others when making particular types of decisions about interpreting evidence or drawing conclusions.

But Harley Kilgore, a Senator from West Virginia, argued that the purpose of federal funding for science was not “building up theoretical science just to build it up. ”4 Kilgore argued for greater political control over the agency and more equal distribution of funds throughout the country. These fundamental disputes have never completely dissipated. In some instances over the past fifty years, legislators passed bills specifying how the money allocated to the NSF should be divided up among the foundation’s “directorates,” thereby determining how much money should go to topics like the biological sciences or the social sciences.

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