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Navigating Dissent by Managing Value Judgments: The Case of Lyme Disease

Elliott, Kevin (2023) Navigating Dissent by Managing Value Judgments: The Case of Lyme Disease. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Recent philosophical literature has highlighted the complexities of handling dissent in science. On one hand, scientific dissent can be very harmful, as when “merchants of doubt” strategically appeal to dissent in order to undermine important environmental and public-health initiatives. On the other hand, scientific dissent can also be beneficial when it helps to promote scientific objectivity, progress, and public engagement. Some authors have responded to this tension by suggesting criteria for distinguishing normatively appropriate and inappropriate dissent, while other authors have suggested that it is more fruitful to alter the social context in which science operates in order to alleviate the negative effects of dissent over the long term. This paper proposes another approach that may be helpful for managing particularly challenging cases of scientific dissent. It argues that instances of scientific dissent often incorporate debates over value judgments, so many difficult cases of dissent can be navigated by: (1) identifying and highlighting those value judgments; and (2) managing those value judgments by drawing strategies from the extensive literature on values and science. The paper illustrates this approach by examining a case study of dissent over the treatment of long-term symptoms associated with Lyme disease.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Elliott, Kevinkce@msu.edu0000-0003-3397-7849
Keywords: dissent; consensus; science communication; science and values; value judgments; trust; Lyme disease
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Kevin Elliott
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2023 14:06
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2023 14:06
Item ID: 22610
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 30 September 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22610

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