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Is a Little Pollution Good for You?Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research$
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Kevin Elliott

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199755622

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755622.001.0001

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The MCS and ED Cases

The MCS and ED Cases

(p.160) 7 The MCS and ED Cases
Is a Little Pollution Good for You?

Kevin C. Elliott

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how the major lessons of the preceding chapters apply to cases of policy‐relevant research other than hormesis. It argues that those who investigate endocrine disruption and multiple chemical sensitivity also encounter at least four major categories of value judgments: (1) choices about what topics to investigate and how to design studies; (2) decisions about what scientific terminology and definitions to employ; (3) choices about how to interpret and evaluate studies; and (4) questions about how to incorporate scientific research into policy decisions. The chapter also shows, in accordance with Chapter 4, that current university conflict‐of‐interest policies are unlikely to prevent interest groups from exerting powerful influences on these judgments. Chapter 7 also supports the central contention of Chapter 5 (i.e., that diagnosing deliberative forums is important) by showing the problematic effects of poorly designed deliberation in the MCS case and the positive consequences of well‐designed deliberation in response to endocrine disruption. Finally, the chapter shows that experts who study MCS and endocrine disruption could also gain valuable guidance by reflecting on the ethics of expertise developed in Chapter 6.

Keywords:   multiple chemical sensitivity, endocrine disruption, conflict of interest, deliberation, ethics of expertise, consent, research ethics

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