HPS Colloquium. Martin Carrier
Topic: Science, Economy, and Politics: How to Respond to the Credibility Crisis of Science
Abstract: Science in the public arena is increasingly regarded with mistrust. Scientific judgments on matters of practical concern are not infrequently suspected of being incompetent and biased. Incompetence is rather attributed to scientific experts in politics, while bias is more often ascribed to scientists in industry. Such features have contributed to undermining the credibility of science. The epistemic authority of science is hurt by its politicization and commercialization. Two proposals for remedying this deficiency are discussed presently. One aims at strengthening the independence of science, the other one recommends counter-politicization. I argue that an often neglected, yet fundamental question in this context is how science should be organized in order to produce maximum practical benefit. This question translates into formulating an appropriate research heuristics. My claim is that pluralism among the aims of science can contribute to implementing this heuristics—which in turn can be expected to promote the credibility of science.
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