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NATS 1760- WHY EXPERTISE.docx

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Department
Natural Science
Course
NATS 1760
Professor
Darrin Durant
Semester
Fall

Description
SC NATS 1760 DARRIN DURANT/ JAMES ELWICK Monday, September 24, 2012 Why Expertise? Pg. 23- 31  The “canonical model” of science did not coincide with the practice itself  It was rather a growing public distrust in science from highly visible failures of major technologies and the disasters associated with them  Political movements associated with environmentalism and animal rights have caused distrust in science and technology, but social sciences have been facing “postmodernism”  Have given rise to Weltanschauung – we no longer understand how to balance science and technology against general opinion  The book is meant to make a contribution to the process in which experts acquire expert status, NOT intended to add to the analysis  To treat an expertise as real and substantive is to treat it as something other than relational  The notion that expertise is only an “attribution” (label) is an example of a relational theory  Acquiring expertise is therefore a social process BUT its not just attribution of a social group (takes a lot of time and effort)  Equating the ubiquity of an expertise with the absence of an expertise has been responsible for a mistake  Treating native language-speaking as easy was a mistake  The relational theory is based on the degree of acceptance by its users  The realist/substantive theory the difference between computers‟ and humans‟ language handling would remain important even if it turned out to be useful  The “folk wisdom” view – the claim that ordinary people are wiser than experts in some technical areas  Ordinary people are put into a position like that of the elite; they are given the same role in respect of expertise  Ordinary people are not in need of the specialist experience- must they be taken to hold a robust? Commonsense view of minorities? Do not need to refine from arcane academic analysis?  There‟s the idea that genuine understanding involved tacit knowledge- the deep understanding one can only fain through social immersion in groups who possess it  There is conflict between the idea of tacit knowledge and the folk wisdom view  Humans are unique in that way they share tactic knowledge – have an ability to develop and maintain complex bodies of tacit knowledge in social groups that is not possessed by non-human entities  No non-human entity has the fluency in natural human language that comes naturally to most humans (humans learn a natural language)  If it wasn‟t learned early on it‟s hard to retain that language- mere proximity is not enough  To “know what you are talking about” implies successful embedding within the social group that embodies the expertise  Five theoretical ideas that are put forward in expert knowledge: 1) We are trying to analyze expertise and define types of experts- technical expertise is a “meta-expertise”. It‟s about making judgments about experts and expertise from within our own expertise NOT about helping in the decision-making process 2) We are not claiming that all technical decisions in the public domain should simply be left to experts – certain types of expertise should be recognized independently of politics 3) To analyze expertise is not to establish their expert equivalents 4) We make no claim here to be able to distinguish between expert with integrity and those who acquire expertise, genuine or assumed 5) Scientific knowledge takes a long time to make and therefore scientists are often pressed to make authoritative decisions on technical matters  The speed of politics exceeds the speed of scientific consensus formation  The “Problem of Legitimacy” vs. the “Problem of Extension”  The Problem of Legitimacy is about how we can continue to introduce new technologies in the face of the widespread and growing distrust of certain areas in science and technology – extend involvement of the public in decisions  The Problem of Extension is about how do we know how, when and why, to limit participation in technological decision-making so that the boundary between the knowledge of the expert and that of the layperson does not disappear? – The analysis of expertise  We can define “scientism” in four different ways: 1) An overpedantic cleaving to some canonical model of scientific method or reasoning 2) Scientific fundamentalism 3) “Propositional questions” posed by scientific experts are the only legitimate way to approach a debate in the public domain 4) Science should be treated not just as a resource, but as a central element of our culture Science, the Citizen, and the Role of Social Science Pg. 33-38  Given the appropriate ratio of science to nonscience decisions and the science which is most proper that should bear upon a decision deals with the problem of “framing” a technological debate  the opinion of the consumer  consumer preference/ lifestyle choice  Case of art forgery discussed by Nelson Goodman  why is it important to maintain the distinction between real/fake  counteractively the preservation of the institution of expert economists predicting far from the mark- one day it may be possible to make a more accurate prediction  The safety over the mumps, measles and rubella( MMR) vaccine – the value of consensual expert advice was entirely misjudged  The claim that only those with contributory expertise can judge others with contributory expertise  judgments made with no more than interactional expertise  In the case with the focus group regarding the genetically modified food concerning the issues with biotechnology  authors assimilated moral choice and choice of lifestyle with technical judgment  publics technical knowledge on GM was poor  Scientists and technologists CANNOT displace politics with expertise  we are suggesting that the answer is expertise and experience(SEE)  a matter of choosing who to believe rather than what to believe Listening Without Prejudice? Rediscovering the Value of the Disinterested Citizen Pg. 39- 48  Science & Technology Studies( STS) scholars have done much to promote the view of public participating in decisions relating to science and technolo
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