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Science at the Bar: Science and Technology in American Law

By: Sheila Jasanoff

Harvard University Press

Paperback | Aug 1997 | #81396 | ISBN: 067479303X
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £23.95 $29/€27 approx
Hardback | Dec 1995 | #47034 | ISBN: 0674793021
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £45.95 $56/€52 approx

About this book

Issues spawned by the headlong pace of developments in science and technology fill American courts. How should they deal with frozen embryos and leaky implants, dangerous chemicals, DNA fingerprints, and genetically engineered animals? This book exposes American law's long-standing involvement in constructing, propagating, and perpetuating a variety of myths about science and technology.

Sheila Jasanoff reveals the gulf between objective science and adversarial law in the United States--and suggests some bridge-building answers...[She] delves deeply into case law, and comes up with some absorbing and accessible analyses of the judicial treatment of issues such as genetic engineering, chemical toxicity, and fetal rights. Timely stuff. New Scientist According to Jasanoff, the traditional notion of two independent bodies of thought, that "science seeks the truth" and that "law does justice" is an oversimplification In support of her position, Jasanoff takes a look at judicial decision making on a wide variety of scientific and technological issues. -- Mary Rose Scozzafava Bimonthly Review of Law Books [Jasanoff] provides a provocative and informative survey of the multiplying areas of dispute in which science and technology have come to figure in the legal system. Her topics include product liability, medical malpractice, the regulation of toxics, biotechnology and patents, reproductive rights and dispositions for the dying...Science at the Bar is an important, ground-breaking book, a clearly written work that assists us in coming to grips with the troublesome issues raised by our society's experience in the complicated interplay of science and the law. -- Daniel J. Kevles American Scientist This is a perceptive and elegantly written book on how science and law interact both to produce knowledge and to resolve conflict. -- George J. Annas Nature [A] broad-ranging and authoritative survey of the relation between law, science, and technology...Jasonoff, trained as a lawyer and subsequently the creator of Cornell's flagship department of science and technology studies, has devoted most of her professional life to studying science in the courtroom...For any serious student of science and law in America, this is an original and essential book. -- Kenneth Keniston New England Journal of Medicine This scholarly and informative book tells the story of how the world of science, where the search for truth predominates, interdigitates with the world of judicial decision making, where the search for justice predominates. As one of a few academic researchers well-grounded in the study of science and technology policy, law, and social science, Jasonoff has attempted the challenge of providing us with a coherent characterization of that interdigitation. Writing with her usual clarity, craftsmanlike and balanced perspective, she has surely succeeded. -- Ira H. Carmen Law and Politics Book Review This book is a must-read for all [Science, Technology, and Society] scholars, and one that would prove useful in many advanced-level STS causes as well. Science, Technology, and Society


The intersections of science and law; changing knowledge, changing rules; the law's construction of expertise; the technical discourse of government; law in the republic of science; toxic torts and the politics of causation; legal encounters with genetic engineering; family affairs; definitions of life and death; toward a more reflective alliance.

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Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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