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A Tapestry of ValuesAn Introduction to Values in Science$
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Kevin C. Elliott

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190260804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190260804.001.0001

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An Introduction to Values in Science

An Introduction to Values in Science

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 An Introduction to Values in Science
Source:
A Tapestry of Values
Author(s):

Kevin C. Elliott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190260804.003.0001

This chapter introduces the major issues addressed by the book A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science. It shows how the research of Nikolai Vavilov, Trofim Lysenko, and Theo Colborn illustrates both the positive and negative ways that ethical and social values can influence scientific research. The chapter offers two arguments for incorporating values in science: (1) value influences are sometimes inevitable, so it is better to incorporate them thoughtfully and with adequate scrutiny rather than incorporating them implicitly; (2) values can sometimes help in achieving legitimate scientific goals. In place of the value-free ideal for science, it suggests three conditions for addressing values appropriately: (1) the influences of values should be made transparent; (2) values should reflect ethical and social priorities; and (3) values should be scrutinized via processes of engagement that incorporate multiple stakeholders.

Keywords:   Nikolai Vavilov, Trofim Lysenko, Theo Colborn, transparency, stakeholder engagement, ethical values, social values, value-free ideal

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