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Updated: February 09 2017Why Democracies Need Science
By Harry Collins & Robert Evans
- Offers a strong defence of science as a privileged and authoritative voice in social and political life
- Argues that social studies of science have gone too far in reducing scientific conclusions to context-dependent social constructions, or ‘politics in disguise’
- Proposes a reconciliation of sides in the ‘science vs. democracy’ debates, showing how science can still be valued without taking power out of elected hands
- Written by two leading authors in these debates whose work has been tremendously influential in ongoing discussions of science’s role in society
"Scientific and technological advances have a huge impact on our lives, yet science and society have an ambivalent relationship: science needs democracy to flourish but its techniques are beyond political accountability. In this thought-provoking book, Collins and Evans assert that “science gives substance to the way of being of democracy”. Consequently, science is a key to achieving and safeguarding our democratic ideals."
- Barry Barish, Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Caltech; PI and Director of LIGO, 1994–2005
"Free-market ideology threatens both science and democracy. Collins and Evans respond not with philosophical arguments but an appeal to common sense. They ask us first to see that we face a basic moral choice, and then to choose the values of modern science. A provocative and thoughtful book."
- Mark Brown, Professor of Government, California State University, Sacramento