Captives of Controversy: The Myth of the Neutral Social Researcher in Contemporary Scientific Controversies

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Science, Technology, & Human Values, ISSN: 0162-2439, Vol: 15, Issue: 4, Page: 474-494

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Scott, P; Richards, Evelleen; Martin, Brian
SAGE Publications
Social Sciences; Arts and Humanities; Economics, Econometrics and Finance; Computer Science; scientific; neutral; myth; contemporary; researcher; controversies; social; Law
article description
According to both traditional positivist approaches and also to the sociology of scientific knowledge, social analysts should not themselves become involved in the controversies they are investigating. But the experiences of the authors in studying contemporary scientific controversies—specifically, over the Australian Animal Health Laboratory,fluoridation, and vitamin C and cancer—show that analysts, whatever their intentions,cannot avoid being drawn into the fray. The field of controversy studies needs to address the implications of this process for both theory and practice. © 1990, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.