Acceptable evidence: science and values in risk management

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Deborah G. Mayo, Rachelle D. Hollander
Oxford University Press, Nov 14, 1991 - Business & Economics - 292 pages
Discussions of science and values in risk management have largely focussed on the entry of values in judging risks, that is, issues of acceptable risk. This volume instead concentrates on the entry of values in collecting, interpreting, communicating, and evaluating the evidence of risks, that is, issues of the acceptability of evidence of risk. By focusing on acceptable evidence, this volume avoids two barriers to progress: views that assume that evidence of risk is largely a matter of objective scientific data and therefore uncontroversial, and views that assume that evidence of risk is ineluctably a matter of values and therefore not amenable to reasoned critique. This volume denies both extremes. It argues for a more constructive conclusion: that understanding the interrelations of scientific with value issues enables a critical scrutiny of risk assessments. This volume analyzes environmental and medical controversies, and assumptions underlying views about risk assessment and the scientific and statistical models used in risk management. Contributors include philosophers, policy analysts, and natural and social scientists.

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Guidelines for Communicating Information About Chemical Risks

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About the author (1991)

Deborah G. Mayo is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech, and holds a visiting appointment in the Center for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics. She is the author of Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge, which in 1998 won the Lakatos Prize, awarded for the most outstanding contribution to philosophy of science during the previous six years. Professor Mayo coedited the volume Acceptable Evidence: Science and Values in Risk Management (1991, with R. Hollander) and has published numerous articles on the philosophy and history of science and foundations of statistics and experimental inference and in interdisciplinary works on evidence relevant for regulation and policy.

Hollander is Coordinator for Ethics and Values Studies at the National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.

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