Crown Jewels and Rough Diamonds: The Source of Science's Authority

Harry Collins

in The One Culture?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780226467221
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226467245 | DOI:
Crown Jewels and Rough Diamonds: The Source of Science's Authority

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The different ways of justifying science are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, it may be the existence of crown jewels that makes one believe that rough diamonds are worth having. But to value murky and unfinished science only because of its potential to turn into something else is risky. There are many kinds of science that cannot be polished up to a fine sparkle. Think of any science that involves a long-term historical dimension, especially one involving human action such as the science of long-term climate change. However, to justify the use of science in political decision-making by reference only to polished jewels is to invite exclusion from political decision-making.

Keywords: science's authority; historical dimension; human action; climate change; political decision-making; science studies

Chapter.  2669 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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