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Science is the most reliable means available for understanding the world around us and our place in it. But, since science draws conclusions based on limited empirical evidence, there is always a chance that a scientific inference will be incorrect. That chance, known as inductive risk, is endemic to science.
Though inductive risk has always been present in scientific practice, the role of values in responding to it has only recently gained extensive attention from philosophers, scientists, and policy-makers. Exploring Inductive Risk brings together a set of eleven concrete case studies with the goals of illustrating the pervasiveness of inductive risk, assisting scientists and policymakers in responding to it, and moving theoretical discussions of this phenomenon forward. The case studies range over a wide variety of scientific contexts, including the drug approval process, high energy particle physics, dual-use research, climate science, research on gender disparities in employment, clinical trials, and toxicology.
Exploring Inductive Risk includes an introductory chapter that provides a conceptual introduction to the topic and a historical overview of the argument that values have an important role to play in responding to inductive risk, as well as a concluding chapter that synthesizes important themes from Exploring Inductive Risk and maps out issues in need of further consideration.
Foreword / Heather Douglas
Introduction / Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards
Part I: Weighing Inductive Risk
Drug Regulation and the Inductive Risk Calculus / Jacob Stegenga
Decisions, Decisions: Inductive Risk and the Higgs Boson / Kent W. Staley
Part II: Evading Inductive Risk
Dual Use Research and Inductive Risk / David B. Resnik
Making Uncertanties Explicit: The Jefferyan Value-Free Ideal and Its Limits / David M. Frank
Inductive Risk, Deferred Decisions, and Climate Science Advising / Matthew J. Brown and Joyce C. Havstad
Part III: The Breadth of Inductive Risk
Measuring Inequality: The Roles of Values and Inductive Risk / Robin Andreasen and Heather Doty
Safe or Sorry? Cancer Screening and Inductive Risk Anya Plutynski
Inductive Risk and Values in Composite Outcome Measures / Roger Stanev
Inductive Risk and the Role of Values in Clinical Trials / Robyn Bluhm
Part IV: Exploring the Limits of Inductive Risk
The Geography of Epistemic Risk / Justin B. Biddle and Rebecca Kukla
The Inductive Risk of Jack Powers / Exploring Inductive Risk: Future Questions, Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards
Kevin C. Elliott is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. His publications include Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research (Oxford University Press, 2011) and A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science (Oxford University Press, 2017).
Ted Richards is the editor of Soccer and Philosophy: Beautiful Thoughts on the Beautiful Game (Open Court, 2010). He teaches Philosophy at Michigan State University.
- Robin Andreasen is the Director of Research of UD ADVANCE and an Associate Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware
- Justin B. Biddle is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology
- Robyn Bluhm is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Philosophy and Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University
- Matthew J. Brown is the Director of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology and an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Dallas
- Heather Doty is the UD ADVANCE Faculty Associate to the Provost and an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware
- Heather Douglas is the Waterloo Chair of Science and Society and an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo
- Kevin C. Elliott is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University
- David M. Frank is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee
- Joyce C. Havstad is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan
- Rebecca Kukla is a Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University
- Anya Plutynski is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis
- Jack Powers is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Drury University
- David B. Resnik is a Bioethicist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science in the National Institutes of Health
- Ted Richards is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo
- Kent W. Staley is a Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University
- Roger Stanev is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa
- Jacob Stegenga is a Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University
"this collection will provide a valuable point of departure for many future debates in the philosophy of cognitive science, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get involved in these debates"
– Joe Dewhurst, University of Edinburgh, BJPS Review of books
"During the last two decades, the various challenges of inductive risk have been addressed by a number of philosophers of science in diverse contexts. Thus, it is fortuitous that there is now a volume available providing an overview of the status of the discussion as well as addressing hitherto unanswered questions. It provides useful reading material to classroom teachers who address all sorts of topics on science and values."
– Anna Leuschner and Anke Bueter, Science & Education
"I think the individual chapters in this volume provide a set of interesting and important case studies of non-epistemic values in science. Scientists or philosophers looking for such case studies or for a general understanding of the roles that values can play in scientific practice can benefit from reading any of the chapters in this volume. Philosophers working specifically on inductive risk and the role of values in science, though, will benefit from considering the volume as a whole. What it implicitly shows, and what Biddle and Kukla explicitly argue, is that philosophers of science talking about inductive risk have not, to this point, had a clear idea of precisely what inductive risk is. This volume can, I think, help to start that conversation."
– S. Andrew Schroeder, Metascience