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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

(p.1) Chapter 1 An Introduction to Values in Science
A Tapestry of Values

Kevin C. Elliott

Oxford University Press

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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