Scientific Testimony: Its Roles in Science and Society (Hardcover)
Scientific Testimony concerns the roles of scientific testimony in science and society. The book develops a positive alternative to a tradition famously expressed by the slogan of the Royal Society Nullius in verba ("Take nobody's word for it"). This book argues that intra-scientific testimony--i.e., testimony between collaborating scientists--is not in conflict with the spirit of science or an add-on to scientific practice. On the contrary, intra-scientific testimony is a vital part of science. This is illustrated by articulating epistemic norms of intra-scientific testimony and arguing that they are vital to scientific methodology on a par with other scientific norms governing scientific observation and data analysis. The book also provides an account of public scientific testimony--i.e., scientific testimony to the lay population. This is done by integrating philosophical resources with empirical research on the science of science communication. For example, various misconceptions about science and folk epistemological biases are diagnosed as factors that contribute to science skepticism. This diagnosis provides the basis for developing novel norms for science communication that are sensitive to the psychological and social obstacles to laypersons' uptake of it. Finally, the volume discusses how public scientific testimony is best embedded in society and argues that it is critical for societies that pursue the ideals of deliberative democracy. Scientific Testimony draws on philosophy of science, social epistemology, and empirical research to provide a wide-ranging account of the roles of scientific testimony within scientific practice and within the wider society.
Mikkel Gerken, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern Denmark Mikkel Gerken is a Danish philosopher. His recent research concerns epistemology and philosophy of science but it is often integrated with theories of language and communication, cognitive psychology, philosophy of mind, and philosophical methodology. Professor Gerken was an Associate Professor at the University of Edinburgh before returning to his native Denmark, where he is now a Professor at the University of Southern Denmark. He is an associate editor of Ergo - an open access journal of philosophy. He has been William H. Bonsall Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University. He was an elected member of The Young Academy under the Royal Danish Academy of the Sciences and was awarded a Young Elite Researcher prize from the Danish Council for Independent Research.