Assessing the Impact of STS in Legal and Regulatory Settings Involving Controversial Science

Assessing the Impact of STS in Legal and Regulatory Settings Involving Controversial Science PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Overview. ?Idealizations of Science' in Law/Regulation a problem. STS most significant source of more accurate images of science: But reception of STS has been problematic. Sample: Four case studies(1) Personal experience as a member of a committee which provides advice to Australian science polic

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Assessing the Impact of STS in Legal and Regulatory Settings Involving Controversial Science

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1. Assessing the Impact of STS in Legal and Regulatory Settings Involving Controversial Science David Mercer Science and Technology Studies University of Wollongong, Australia

2. Overview ‘Idealizations of Science’ in Law/Regulation a problem. STS most significant source of more accurate images of science: But reception of STS has been problematic. Sample: Four case studies (1) Personal experience as a member of a committee which provides advice to Australian science policy makers in relation to health and safety issues associated with Mobile telephones (2)The ‘impact’ of recent STS citations in US Federal courts

3. Overview (3)The ‘reception’ by US courts of STS as a field of expertise in litigation involving fingerprint evidence (4)The ‘uses’ of STS in ‘Creation Science Litigation’ In the first case study STS perspectives were available but ignored, in the second, cited, then marginalised, in the third, openly resisted and in the fourth appropriated/ re-appropriated Four themes introduced to help explain these patterns of reception: Recognition/Identity; Articulation and Translation; Match/Mismatch of Knowledge Frameworks; Political Implications

4. (1) Committee on Electromagnetic Energy Public Health Issues The official task of the Australian EME Reference Group (EMERG) is, “[T]o provide community input to the Committee on Electromagnetic Energy Public Health Issues”(CEMEPHI 2003). CEMEPHI has representatives from the Department of Communications, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and Australian Communications Authority (ACA). CEMEPHI co-ordinates, via the NHMRC, scientific research in Australia into radiofrequency and electromagnetic radiation health issues, Australian participation in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) programs, and a public information program (coordinated by ARPANSA). The EME reference group (EMERG) “[I]ncludes representatives from consumer organizations, the telecommunications industry, the health sector, academic organizations, local government and community groups.” (CEMEPHI 2003).

5. Health ‘Fact Sheets’ Fact Sheets should only report on ‘substantiated science’ In Fact Sheet 1: Electromagnetic energy and its effects, two criteria specified for ‘substantiated science’ (a) publication and peer review in the international literature, and (b)independent verification of research results In other Fact Sheets this standard inconsistently applied. Peer reviewed(but controversial) studies suggesting Rf health questions unreported. Unreviewed pilot studies dismissing Rf health questions, and controversial peer review studies reported.

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