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The One Culture?A Conversation about Science$
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Jay A. Labinger and Harry Collins

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226467221

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226467245.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.255) Chapter 26 Crown Jewels and Rough Diamonds: The Source of Science's Authority
Source:
The One Culture?
Author(s):

Harry Collins

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226467245.003.0026

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

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