Download Acceptable Evidence: Science and Values in Risk Management by Deborah G. Mayo, Rachelle D. Hollander PDF

By Deborah G. Mayo, Rachelle D. Hollander

Discussions of technology and values in threat administration have mostly fascinated with how values input into arguments approximately dangers, that's, problems with applicable danger. in its place this quantity concentrates on how values input into accumulating, reading, speaking, and comparing the facts of dangers, that's, problems with the acceptability of facts of threat. via targeting appropriate facts, this quantity avoids limitations to development. One barrier assumes that proof of chance is essentially an issue of target clinical facts and hence uncontroversial. the opposite assumes that proof of probability, being "just" a question of values, isn't really amenable to reasoned critique. Denying either extremes, this quantity argues for a extra optimistic end: realizing the interrelations of clinical and price concerns permits a severe scrutiny of threat exams and higher public deliberation approximately social offerings. The individuals, wonderful philosophers, coverage analysts, and ordinary and social scientists, research environmental and scientific controversies, and assumptions underlying perspectives approximately possibility review and the medical and statistical versions utilized in threat administration.

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Additional info for Acceptable Evidence: Science and Values in Risk Management (Environmental Ethics and Science Policy Series)

Sample text

Thus, land degradation becomes both a result and cause of social marginalization (Blaikie and Brookfield 1987, p. , drought, smallpox, locusts, or civil war) to produce a disaster. Through marginalization, therefore, famine becomes a "normal" event. This concept of marginalization has also been used to explain the occurrence of environmental and social disasters. 2). Underdevelopment, in their view, causes the peasants to make their livelihood in more hazardous environments or to change their uses of resources in ways that exacerbate their vulnerability (Sewell and Foster 1976).

Then, too, the effects themselves are often quite literally invisible and unrecognized, such as the chronic hunger of many rural populations throughout the Third World or the malnutrition of many elderly in the United States. In some cases, the imposition and concealment of the hazard can be quite purposeful, as in the periodic actions in Ethiopia and Sudan to withhold food relief from political opponents and to hide the results from the world's view (Harrison and Palmer 1986). Although the social sciences have devoted much attention to marginality as a social and political phenomenon and have made some effort to assess its role in the experience of hazards and disasters, it is a concept that remains imperfectly understood and lacking an adequate theory.

Hazards that threaten basic human values are as amorphous as they are profoundly troubling. Such values continually shape the directions of science, the unfolding of technological applications, and the institutions that manage both. Equally certain is that technology is a major driving force in shaping social values. Consider the impacts of the automobile on families, contraceptives on sexual mores, life-extending technologies on religious beliefs, and computers and informational banks on privacy.

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