Scientific Expertise: Epistemic and Social Standards—The Example of the German Radiation Protection Commission

Scientific Expertise: Epistemic and Social Standards—The Example of the German Radiation... In their self-understanding, expert committees solely draw on scientific knowledge to provide policy advice. However, we try to show, first, on the basis of material related to the German Radiation Protection Commission that much of their work consists in active model building. Second, expert advice is judged by criteria that diverge from standards used for judging epistemic research. In particular, the commitment to generality or universality is replaced by the criterion of specificity, and the value of precision gives way to epistemic robustness. Third, non-epistemic considerations are included in the reasoning—albeit hesitantly. Manageability and social robustness, understood as compatibility with widespread value attitudes in society, affect the content of the recommendations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Topoi Springer Journals

Scientific Expertise: Epistemic and Social Standards—The Example of the German Radiation Protection Commission

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy, general; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Technology
ISSN
0167-7411
eISSN
1572-8749
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11245-016-9407-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In their self-understanding, expert committees solely draw on scientific knowledge to provide policy advice. However, we try to show, first, on the basis of material related to the German Radiation Protection Commission that much of their work consists in active model building. Second, expert advice is judged by criteria that diverge from standards used for judging epistemic research. In particular, the commitment to generality or universality is replaced by the criterion of specificity, and the value of precision gives way to epistemic robustness. Third, non-epistemic considerations are included in the reasoning—albeit hesitantly. Manageability and social robustness, understood as compatibility with widespread value attitudes in society, affect the content of the recommendations.

Journal

TopoiSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 13, 2016

References

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