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The Commercialization of Research and the Quest for the Objectivity of Science
[Post deleted at Brian's request]

(09-20-2017, 08:23 AM)Brian Wrote:

A consensus in a scientific community is often used as a resource for making informed public-policy decisions and deciding between rival expert testimonies in legal trials. This paper contains a social-epistemic analysis of the high-profile Bendectin drug controversy, which was decided in the courtroom inter alia by deference to a scientific consensus about the safety of Bendectin. Drawing on my previously developed account of knowledge-based consensus, I argue that the consensus in this case was not knowledge based, hence courts’ deference to it was not epistemically justified. I draw sceptical lessons from this analysis regarding the value of scientific consensus as a desirable and reliable means of resolving scientific controversies in public life.

What features warrant calling this stored body of concepts a belief system? Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal sense of Reality. Every human being has a belief system that they utilize, and it is through this mechanism that we individually, “make sense” of the world around us. Perceived Reality is constructed by means of systems of signs, being affected and being changed by means of Belief systems. A subject cannot understand a sign without talking about a system that is learned socially and that allows him to make sense of perception. In the same way, the classification of signs in closed typologies can be deceptive, since the status of the sign depends strongly on the form in which the sign is used within the Belief system. A signifier can nevertheless be iconic in a belief context and be symbolic in another context. From this we can see that people are capable of constructing all manner of individual beliefs by which they tell stories about how the world works. As humans, we tend to use all these belief systems in varying degrees to cope with events in our lives. Ultimately we need the world to make sense . Therefore, those areas where that “sense of reality” is most challenged will tend to be the areas in which the most controversies exist.
Interesting papers, Brian. 

I don't have the full paper here. I'm curious about what she means about the scientific consensus not being knowledge-based in the Bendectin case?

I remember Bendectin because I was pregnant while I lived in the US and while I lived in Canada. I could only use Bendectin in Canada because of these lawsuits in the US.

[-] The following 1 user Likes fls's post:
  • Brian
Looks like you can get it here but you have to sign in with facebook or Google.


In Chapter 3, I begin my positive analysis of the social conditions for knowledge. I explore the question of when a consensus is knowledge based. I argue that a consensus is knowledge based when knowledge is the best explanation of the consensus. I identify three conditions – social diversity, apparent consilience of evidence, and meta‐agreement, for knowledge being the best explanation of a consensus. In Chapter 4, I illustrate my argument by analyzing the recent controversy about the safety of the drug Bendectin.

fls - I thought this might contain what you are looking for

Thanks Brian. It looks interesting so far, but it definitely won't be a quick read. Smile

[-] The following 1 user Likes fls's post:
  • Brian
(09-21-2017, 01:11 AM)fls Wrote: Thanks Brian. It looks interesting so far, but it definitely won't be a quick read. Smile


Heh heh - have fun! LOL


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