Confronting the Experts: Freeing Teachers from the Tyranny of Texts

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SUNY Press, 1996 - Social Science - 204 pages
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Confronting the Experts brings together six personal case histories of challenges to establishment experts. The authors tell why they questioned conventional wisdom, what methods they used, how they dealt with the experts' response, and what lessons they learned. Because the book shows how powerful groups can get their way by gaining the support of intellectual authorities and also how these authorities can be challenged, it provides insights into the issues of power, dissent, and social change.
Included are Sharon Beder's research on sewage and how it helped to undermine the credibility of the Sydney Water Board; Mark Diesendorf's scientific and social critique of fluoridation; Edward Herman's exposition of the flaws in the establishment perspective on terrorism; Harold Hillman's questioning of the validity of standard methods used in biology, such as subcellular fractionation and electron microscopy; Michael Mallory and Gordon Moran's challenge to the orthodox interpretation of a famous painting in Siena, Italy; and Dhirendra Sharma's confrontation with India's nuclear establishment.
 

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Contents

Introduction Experts and Establishments
1
Sewerage Treatment and the Engineering Establishment
13
Fluoridation Breaking the Silence Barrier
45
Terrorism The Struggle against Closure
77
What Price Intellectual Honesty? Asks a Neurobiologist
99
The Guido Riccio Controversy in Art History
131
Confronting the Nuclear Power Structure in India
155
Conclusion Learning from Struggle
175
Contributors
185
Index
189
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About the author (1996)

Brian Martin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is the author of Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate also published by SUNY Press, The Bias of Science; Uprooting War; Social Defence, Social Change; and coeditor of Intellectual Suppression: Australian Case Histories, Analysis and Responses.

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