Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science

ISBN : 9780190467715

Kevin C. Elliott; Ted Richards
304 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Science is the most reliable means available for understanding the world around us and our place in it. But, since science draws conclusions based on limited empirical evidence, there is always a chance that a scientific inference will be incorrect. That chance, known as inductive risk, is endemic to science. Though inductive risk has always been present in scientific practice, the role of values in responding to it has only recently gained extensive attention from philosophers, scientists, and policy-makers. Exploring Inductive Risk brings together a set of eleven concrete case studies with the goals of illustrating the pervasiveness of inductive risk, assisting scientists and policymakers in responding to it, and moving theoretical discussions of this phenomenon forward. The case studies range over a wide variety of scientific contexts, including the drug approval process, high energy particle physics, dual-use research, climate science, research on gender disparities in employment, clinical trials, and toxicology. The book includes an introductory chapter that provides a conceptual introduction to the topic and a historical overview of the argument that values have an important role to play in responding to inductive risk, as well as a concluding chapter that synthesizes important themes from the book and maps out issues in need of further consideration.


Foreword, Heather Douglas
Introduction, Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards
Part I: Weighing Inductive Risk
Drug Regulation and the Inductive Risk Calculus
Jacob Stegenga
Decisions, Decisions: Inductive Risk and the Higgs Boson
Kent W. Staley
Part II: Evading Inductive Risk
Dual Use Research and Inductive Risk
David B. Resnik
Making Uncertanties Explicit: The Jefferyan Value-Free Ideal and Its Limits
David M. Frank
Inductive Risk, Deferred Decisions, and Climate Science Advising
Matthew J. Brown and Joyce C. Havstad
Part III: The Breadth of Inductive Risk
Measuring Inequality: The Roles of Values and Inductive Risk
Robin Andreasen and Heather Doty
Safe or Sorry? Cancer Screening and Inductive Risk
Anya Plutynski
Inductive Risk and Values in Composite Outcome Measures
Roger Stanev
Inductive Risk and the Role of Values in Clinical Trials
Robyn Bluhm
Part IV: Exploring the Limits of Inductive Risk
The Geography of Epistemic Risk
Justin B. Biddle and Rebecca Kukla
The Inductive Risk of Demasculinization
Jack Powers
Exploring Inductive Risk: Future Questions, Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards


Kevin C. Elliott is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. His publications include Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research (Oxford University Press, 2011) and A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science (Oxford University Press, 2017).; Ted Richards is the editor of Soccer and Philosophy: Beautiful Thoughts on the Beautiful Game (Open Court, 2010). Currently, he teaches philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.