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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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What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

(p.61) Chapter 4 What Are We Trying to Accomplish?
A Tapestry of Values

Kevin C. Elliott

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at three different contexts in which scientists have to think about their aims, which in turn requires deliberating about the values that guide those aims. First, using case studies from stream restoration and chemical risk assessment, the chapter shows that when regulatory agencies or policymakers use scientific methods or models, they sometimes have practical aims that go beyond merely arriving at the most reliable information. Second, as illustrated by feminist research in anthropology, scientists have to reflect on their overarching aims when deciding which theories or models are most worthwhile to pursue or explore. Third, when scientists are engaged in modeling a complex phenomenon such as climate change, they have to decide which facets of it they should aim to represent most carefully.

Keywords:   David Rosgen, Natural Channel Design, risk assessment, feminist anthropology, climate change, values and science, science policy, cognitive attitudes

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