Ethnography and the Idealized Accounts of Science in Law
David S. Caudill
Villanova University School of Law
San Diego Law Review, Vol. 39, 2002
An idealized description of scientific activity persists in law and legal literature. Social aspects of science are regularly acknowledged and then dismissed as temporary, irrelevant, or eliminable. A distinction should be made between eliminable and inevitable social aspects of science, and engagement with the latter would lead to a more accurate description of the scientific enterprise. After explaining how ethnomethodology is used to explore the inevitable social, institutional, and rhetorical aspects of science, I identify numerous social aspects and suggest how understanding their role in the production of scientific knowledge might help attorneys and judges in their evaluations of scientific validity.
Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 20, 2002
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