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Other titles in the Prometheus Prize series:
Science in a Democratic Society (Prometheus Prize)by Philip Kitcher
Synopses & Reviews
In this successor to his pioneering Science, Truth, and Democracy, the author revisits the topic explored in his previous work—namely, the challenges of integrating science, the most successful knowledge-generating system of all time, with the problems of democracy. But in this new work, the author goes far beyond that earlier book in studying places at which the practice of science fails to answer social needs. He considers a variety of examples of pressing concern, ranging from climate change to religiously inspired constraints on biomedical research to the neglect of diseases that kill millions of children annually, analyzing the sources of trouble. He shows the fallacies of thinking that democracy always requires public debate of issues most people cannot comprehend, and argues that properly constituted expertise is essential to genuine democracy. No previous book has treated the place of science in democratic society so comprehensively and systematically, with attention to different aspects of science and to pressing problems of our times.
Book News Annotation:
Philosopher of science Philp Kitcher presents this timely and interesting exploration of the role of science in democracy. Addressing the propensity of democratic societies to debate all issues as if factual truth could be arrived at by a vote or debate, the work examines the role of the expert and the ways in which modern political discourse hampers clear applications of scientific works for the public good. The work addresses such topics as the erosion of scientific authority, the evolution of public knowledge and accommodating diversity and dissent. Kitcher is the author of twelve books on the philosophy of science. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
No previous book has treated the place of science in democratic society so comprehensively and systematically, with attention to different aspects of science and to pressing problems of our times.
Philip Kitcher (New York, NY) is John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. He is the author of twelve books, including Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith; In Mendel’s Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology; Science, Truth, and Democracy; and The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities. Professor Kitcher was the first recipient of the Prometheus Prize awarded by the American Philosophical Association for "lifetime contribution to expanding the frontiers of research in philosophy and science." He is also the winner of many other awards, most recently the Award for Distinguished Service to the Columbia Core Curriculum, the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award from Columbia University, the Lannan Foundation Notable Book Award (given for Living with Darwin), and the Friend of Darwin Award (given by the National Committee on Science Education).
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