Contested boundaries in policy-relevant science
DOI link for Contested boundaries in policy-relevant science
Contested boundaries in policy-relevant science book
Recent advances in the sociology of scientifi c knowledge have emphasized the infl uence of social factors on the content of science. Facts are accepted as authoritative not necessarily because they can be empirically verifi ed, but because they are validated through processes of informal negotiation and can be ranged into frameworks of shared assumptions and inferences. Social processes colour the extent to which pieces of scientifi c knowledge are perceived as certain, leading to differences in the interpretation of the same facts by scientists of different disciplinary training. 1 In areas of high uncertainty, political interest frequently shapes the presentation of scientifi c facts and hypotheses to fi t different models of ‘reality’. 2 The language in which scientists represent and legitimate their claims varies in accordance with the audience to which the representations are made. 3 Accordingly, one’s impressions of the reliability of scientifi c knowledge can differ depending on whether one looks at the public language of science or at the private language in which scientists communicate their assessments of certainty to each other.