We are assembling an HSS panel proposal on the subject of risk and its relationship to scientific authority, and seek a fourth contributor.
We start with the observation that, over the past several centuries, scientists and doctors have more and more often acted as the final arbiter of what is or is not construed as risky--lifestyles, diets, diseases, consumer goods, and so forth. We hope to explore in our papers the extent to which the cultural authority of science has been derived from scientists' assumption of this role, and the extent to which nonscientists have come to understand risk management as an essential civil function of science.
At present, our abstracts concentrate on the American context in the last 150 years, but we invite abstracts from interested scholars in any national context or period whose work explores the interactions between scientists and their publics on this subject.
Please contact Matthew Lavine to submit an abstract, or for further information.
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