For the most current, comprehensive resource in this rapidly evolving field, look no further than the Revised Edition of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. This masterful volume is the first resource in more than 15 years to define, summarize, and synthesize this complex multidisciplinary, international field. Tightly edited with contributions by an internationally recognized team of leading scholars, this volume addresses the crucial contemporary issues—both traditional and nonconventional—social studies, political studies, and humanistic studies in this changing field. Containing theoretical essays, extensive literature reviews, and detailed case studies, this remarkable volume clearly sets the standard for the field. It does nothing less than establish itself as the benchmark, one that will carry the field well into the next century. 

Chapter 22: Scientific Knowledge, Controversy, and Public Decision Making

Scientific Knowledge, Controversy, and Public Decision Making

Scientific knowledge, controversy, and public decision making
Brian Martin, Evelleen Richards

THE central and increasingly contentious role of science and technology in modern society has given rise to a plethora of scientific and public controversies over scientific and technical issues. Such controversies often have profound social, political, and economic implications, and more and more often they feature public disagreements among scientific, technical, or medical experts. Whether the confrontation occurs over the control of AIDS, about the proposed introduction of the “abortion pill,” about whether “cold fusion” exists, over the location of an airport, or over the implications of the “greenhouse effect,” experts become involved. And many of them become involved not just as consultants or providers of expertise but as ...

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